At Preschool Creative Arts classes, our teacher looks for and cultivates originality from the students.
It is quite clear that even though they are a mere year apart, K1 and K2 students already have different skillsets and hand-eye coordination levels. K1 students are still learning how to write, speak or to use scissors. Often they need step-by-step demonstration before they can comprehend how the artwork is to be done.
K2 students, on the other hand, are much more independent. They have a better understanding of expectations from them, and they coordinate better with their improved motor skills. No matter what their levels are, Ms. Jennifer PEREZ, our Preschool Creative Arts teacher, says that “my teaching philosophy is that I am always watchful of children’s attitude and I want to inspire their willingness to learn.”
Beyond learning, she also looks out for originality, for that special spark in self-expression when students use their imagination.
To cultivate originality, she first gets students to understand basic concepts by sharing images and samples of finished work. They learn about shapes and colours, and explore materials and different art media. The students are then asked to express their own thoughts in their own creations.
“In situations where they make mistakes, such as cutting off the wrong pieces or glueing the wrong items, I refrain from correcting them. I want them to be expressive and feel comfortable with their creativity in the Preschool Creative Arts room,” Ms. PEREZ explains. In this room, kids are allowed to make mistakes and to turn it into masterpieces.
“When learning about art media, I allow the students to draw freely, anything from animals, plants, houses or rainbows. They enjoy creating on their own, and they do stop to decide on their choice of colours. They always hope to ‘outdo’ others in their artwork, even at such a young age. This bit of ‘friendly comparison’ serves to stimulate ideas and originality,” she says.
She observes that two students could be drawing the same things, yet their artworks are distinct by their choice of colours, shapes, or placement of objects.
“During the lessons, I often remind the preschoolers to be expressive, and if their artwork were different, it’d be fine by me. That way, each child develops and obtains his or her own style.
“I spot originality in the child by seeing the ‘uniqueness’ in their work. I can tell when a student resists getting help from the art teacher. It seems as if they already have an insight into how their artwork will turn out. It is exciting to see that because I can’t wait to visualise the preschoolers’ creativity. As the saying goes, ‘All children are born artists!'”
All students’ interests in art can be nurtured when they enjoy the lessons. And it’s heartening for teachers when they see how excited the students are to show their parents their artwork.
Encouraging originality also allows children to feel comfortable about their creations, and being different from their peers. It builds a sense of well-being and confidence.
“Preschool children have excellent long-term memories; most can remember bits and pieces of information, people, things or events, even after they reach adulthood. We believe it’s essential to plant happy seeds in their hearts because it helps them become positive people. This, in turn, helps them become caretakers and compassionate leaders,” Ms. PEREZ shares.
At SSIS, we believe that children’s artistic impulses are an expression of their need to communicate, and they learn much through play and through constructions of their ideas. As such, our teachers provide them with many ways of expressing creativity and originality.
And we’ve never been in greater need of creativity in this age.
At SSIS, we provide a rich Arts curriculum to support the development of the whole child.