Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Red Flower - Protecting Creativity


I believe this is possibly the most important piece of literature for any and every parent and teacher. This resonated strongly with me when I first read it many years ago. I've never forgotten it, and teach by it's message. While children must learn to follow directions, more importantly, they must be allowed to blossom, grow, thrive, explore, experiment and above all, create and have their individuality celebrated. Each child has unique gifts and we, as adults, have no right to limit them. Some children are very creative, some children are very exacting, and it is our duty to invite them each to explore BOTH sides of that coin. Allow the children in your care to create a beautiful garden.

Picture

The Red Flower

Once a little boy went to school--
He was quite a little boy and it was quite a big school.
But when the little boy found that he could go into his room
From the door outside, he was happy.
And the big school did not seem quite so big any more.

One morning, when the little boy had been in school awhile,
The teacher said, "Today we are going to make a picture."
"Good!" thought the little boy. He liked to make pictures.
He could make all kinds.
Lions and tigers, Chickens and cows, trains and boats,
And he took out his box of crayons and began to draw.

But the teacher said, "Wait, It is not time to begin!"
And she waited until everyone looked ready.
"Now", said the teacher, "We are going to make flowers."
"Good!" thought the little boy. He liked to make flowers.
And he began to make beautiful flowers
With his pink and orange and blue crayons.
But the teacher said, "Wait! And I'll show you how."
And it was red, with a green stem. "There," she said, "Now you may begin."

The little boy looked at the teacher's flower.
Then he looked at his own flower.
He liked his flower better than the teacher's, but he did not say this.
He just turned his paper over and made a flower just like the teacher's.
It was red, with a green stem.

On another day, when the little boy opened the door from the outside all by himself,
The teacher said, "Today, we are going to make something with clay."
"Good!" thought the boy. He liked clay.
He could make all kinds of things with clay
Snakes and snowmen, elephants and mice, cars and trucks
And he began to pull and pinch his ball of clay.
But the teacher said, "Wait! It's not time to begin!"
And she waited until everyone looked ready.

"Now," said the teacher, "We are going to make a dish."
"Good!" thought the little boy. He liked to make dishes.
And he began to make some that were all shapes and sizes. But the teacher said,
"Wait! And I'll show you how." And she showed everyone how to make one deep dish.
"There," said the teacher. "Now you may begin."
The little boy looked at the teacher’s dish and looked at his own.
He liked his dish better than the teacher’s, but he did not say this.
He just rolled his clay into a big ball again, and made a dish like his teacher's.
It was a deep dish.

Pretty soon the little boy learned to wait--And to watch
And to make things just like his teacher
And pretty soon he didn't make things of his own anymore.
Then it happened that the boy and his family moved to another house, in another city.
And the little boy had to go to another school.
This school was even bigger than the other one.
He had to go up some big steps and walk down a long hall to get to his room.

The very first day he was there, the teacher said:
"Today we are going to make a picture." Good! thought the little boy.
And he waited for the teacher to tell him what to do.
But the teacher didn't say anything. She just walked around the room.
When she came to the little boy she said,
"Don't you want to make a picture?"
"Yes," said the little boy.

"How shall I make it?" asked the little boy.
"Why anyway you like," said the teacher.
"And any color?" asked the little boy. "Any color," said the teacher.
" If everyone made the same picture,
 And used the same colors,
 how would I know who made what, and which was which?"

"I don't know," said the little boy.
And he began to make a red flower with a green stem.

Author Unknown

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TAGS: creativity, teaching, preschool, young children, parenting, art, craft, discipline, childcare, daycare, preschool, pre-k, prek, kindergarten, education, red, flower, red flower, flowers are red, the red flower, poem, poetry

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