Young children tend to be very creative. They love drawing on any available surface and building with any materials they can find.

Dalat students communicate effectively by expressing themselves creatively and ethically through media and the arts.

We often think of communication in solely verbal terms, like writing and speaking. However, with this goal we want to encourage our students to express themselves in more creative ways. Artistic expression is something most of us understand well and grew up with, such as music, painting, and drawing. The media side is one the students are often more familiar with, such as podcasts, digital art, and vlogging.

Young children tend to be very creative. They love drawing on any available surface and building with any materials they can find. As kids get older, they often seem to be less creative. I think one reason for that is a fear of failure. Young children have no sense of anyone judging or criticizing their creative expressions. As people grow, they want to please others and avoid making mistakes. We need to overcome our fear of failure in order to free ourselves for creative expression.

One of my hobbies is making baby quilts to give as gifts. I really enjoy choosing the patterns and fabrics, deciding how to put them together, and crafting a nice gift to give away at the end. I first learned to sew in 7th grade Home Economics. I still remember learning about the most important tool when you’re sewing. It’s not the needle, the scissors, or the thread. The most important tool is a seam ripper. It’s inevitable that you will make mistakes when sewing, and the seam ripper is intended to undo your work. Only then, you have the opportunity to try again. Taking out seams is one of the first lessons we learned in that class.

This opportunity to make a big mistake and then try again is what allows creativity to flourish. You can express yourself creatively, then try again and again to get it just right. Our art students know this well. The high school students who spend the most time on homework are usually those in the visual arts classes. They keep redoing and improving their work until they are satisfied with the results.

As parents, the most important thing you can do to encourage your kids to express themselves creatively is to model creative expression and making mistakes. What is your creative outlet? Do you let your kids see this and participate in it? How do you handle mistakes, failures, and setbacks? Let your kids see how you keep trying and don’t let mistakes stop you. Kids learn by example, even in keeping their creativity alive.

Written by Shawna Wood

Ms. Shawna Wood is dedicated to mentoring and discipling the next generation. Shawna has a Master of Education and has been at Dalat since 2012, first as Middle School principal, Deputy Head of School, and now Head of School.
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