On Saturday, two teenagers hosted a How To Fair for their mentors and peers at New Urban Arts. It was a day-long celebration of things we know how to do. Mentors and artists led booths that shared how to wrap a burrito, how to make smores in the winter, how to marbelize paper with shaving cream, how to make ooblek, how to make a choker, how to screenprint … and more!
View photos here.
I often wear many hats at our events, but this time I only wore two: witness and mother. I was there with Grayson, and witnessed teen boys learning to knit for over four hours straight. I witnessed teenagers lead – and even clean up – a public event with little to no direction or intervention from adults in the room.
I witnessed teaching and learning happen in an intimate, personal, way that was fueled by a simple generosity and enjoying of one another. There was an sense of ease that day which I don’t usually associate with event organizing, with adolescence, or with teaching and learning.
When I tried to learn to knit years go, I was swearing up a storm and soon gave up. There are so many educational spaces where teaching and learning can feel so hard. It’s so easy to feel dumb or stupid or unimportant or like a failure or like giving up. On Saturday I was reminded there is another way.
– Sarah –