Anyway, this rush of activity wasn't just insane planning on our part... we had them all bunched together because it was spring break this week for most of the school districts in my library system's service area. That allowed us to start a little earlier than if folks were in school so that we could wrap up before closing time. Since each program ran between an hour and 15 minutes to a full hour and a half, I'm glad that we planned to do these when the teens were out of school.
You can read about our first class here in my earlier blog post. Over the course of the five classes we had between four and seven teens at each program. While I realize that those aren't big numbers, anyone who works with teen programming in libraries knows that it's the quality of the program not the quantity of participants. Ironically, the largest attendance was at our smallest branch on a day where my partner in crime, Maren, wasn't able to be there with me.
While I'm feeling a little tired now, I'm happy that we made the leap and tried this series of programs. A lot of the teens I met were really excited about this type of program and wanted to know if and when we'd do another jewelry program. It was gratifying to see these young people enjoying themselves while creating something and learning some new skills.
I've learned a quite a few things from the experience about myself and about teaching. Here are a few of them:
- I'm fairly certain now that teaching is not my real calling, but I can do it on a small scale.
- It is hard to watch a student struggling with something and not just take over and do it for them!
- A less ambitious project would have been a smarter choice for the first time teaching.
- You get what you pay for... bargain basement priced tools might be what we could afford, but better tools would have made things easier for our students (and for the teachers!).
Here are some of the necklaces the teens made this week. I think that they turned out great!