I had never worked with Primary school children before, and if I’m being honest I hate them. Irrational I know, but my experience since being in primary school is listening to them squawking at the mums in tesco. So I wasn’t really to optimistic about our visit to a school, but fortunately, the kids were wonderful.
We didn’t do an awful lot with them, but made great progress in breaking the ice. The simple game of ‘my name is and if i was an animal...” worked its usual charms and let us know the more willing members of the group, and the shy ones. The kids had a good basic grasp of emotion and seemed willing to participate, all except one, Jim.
Jim was eleven, a good few years older than anybody else there, and found it understandably difficult to join in. He was shy, and hated being put on the spot, and we all struggled to help him. The games were designed for much younger participants than him and it was a shame that he was so visibly unenthused. Next week, if he comes back, the group need to discuss what role we could give him to justify his commitment. I’ve been thinking of it, and it presents more difficulties than ideas. He is too shy to lead the group, and wouldn’t enjoy that position. He is at a difficult stage in his life where everything is confusing and unlike the other children, he is beginning to grow self-conscious. I am hoping he will come back next week and we can give him a large designing role as when he did speak he was surprisingly creative.
Jim captured the hearts of all the girls who workshopped that day, solitary Jim at the bus stop waiting to go home, we would have given him a lift if the state of today’s society didn’t deem that action utterly wrong. But Jim, regardless of his future commitment has inspired me and made me realise that the festivities will only be fun if everybody involved is having fun. A lesson I took with me to my next workshop.