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Orientation Blog: Taking a line for a walk…

When I was eight years old, I took a line for a walk. A watery October sun shone onto my desk and the waxy chublets felt warm between my fingers as the contented hum of low classroom chatter offered soothing background audio to the task. I had no idea where this line would go or what the final colour palette would be for my image, but there was a certain curiosity, freedom and satisfying visual calculation guiding my hand and it felt good. Thirty years later, I remember fondly the teacher who set us this task and complimented us each on our final masterpieces. She instilled confidence, motivation, interest and a work ethic driven by kindness and the motivation to achieve, and to be proud of our work and creations. Today, my goal in undertaking this PME is to one day stand with a class of children who feel safe, happy, challenged and inspired by the classroom in which I teach. Paul Klee (famous for this type of artwork), was a teacher whose emphasis on dynamic forms was inspired by nature, ‘becoming’ and the functioning of forms. My desire to be a teacher is to be part of the exciting and dynamic learning journey that begins in Primary. I often think that the education journey is a little like Klee’s line…constantly shifting and offering new perspectives. Each section traversed and inscribed is an essential part of what becomes a composite and rich final product. I love Maria Montessori’s perspective on letting children experience such freedom…notably in their own natural environment. Let them remove their shoes and get their feet wet! What better way to feel part of and enthused by nature. Henri Cartier Bresson’s photo below reminds me of this and is one of my own children’s favourites among the pictures on display at home. As I begin this PME journey, a ‘den’ has been constructed outside our home, by my son, daughter and a few of their cairde. The picture above (left) has been the sight that meets my eyes as I look out the window from my desk. With their very own postbox (aka breadbin) and a wish alarm (aka dandelion), they have freely and independently drawn from their environment and learnt how to make something beautiful, fun and functional take shape. Snapshots like this are what give those warm, fuzzy moments, and reassure me that this PME decision is most definitely the right one. So wishing all my fellow students a great start to their own PME. Enjoy the journey!

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