After today's program (designed for fourteen 3 year olds!), I had a first grade teacher approach me and ask if she could use the lesson plan that I created for her class at school. I said yes (of course) and grabbed a copy for her. It was the best compliment she could've given me. A compliment from a peer just seems to "weigh" more as they understand what you are trying to accomplish and how challenging it might be to get there. A car restorer who is complimented on his work from another quality restorer, might appreciate that complitment a bit more than someone just saying "cool car man". It's like Neil Young getting a call from James Taylor asking him if he could re-record one of his songs...you get it!
Today's program was outstanding. What an eye opener it was to see so many fathers show up to their child's field trip to the Auto Museum. We are proud to be bringing families together as they experience the past, present and future of the automobile industry. Many school trips lack the "family" element, but today there were sparkles in the eyes of both parents and their children!
As I have now taught two straight weeks of children's programs here at the museum (ages 3-5), it seems that the children are not the only ones learning new things! One main goal of teaching is to instill a lifetime love of learning in our youth, while reflecting on the lessons and procedures that we as teachers are attempting to deliver. Children reflect in their own ways, as they are always looking for the excitement and "wow" factor in every day activities. Watching a 4 year old girl react in pure excitement while given the task to chose her favorite car in our exhibit, not only planted the seed of the love for the automobile, but also demonstrated her innate desire to learn. I am learning just as much from the children that visit our museum as they are learning from me. This inspiration is what will allow our education program to grow in more ways than we had initially planned. The programs and activities that I am creating for the Saratoga Auto Museum begin with the children, for they start as our passengers, but will soon be our drivers.