“Can I paint a duck, blue?” is a question holding more meanings than a request to paint.
It is a veiled query about boundaries, that all in the group inferred meanings for themselves, about the parameters of our space, how far, was I going to allow them to go; physically altering something is usually forbidden in an educational space unless there is specific learning attached. Equality is understood and expected; if it’s ok for her to paint a duck or ask these kinds of things, then it’s ok for us too. This artefact has been co-created with a wonderful group of Year 8 girls. Using representations of their relationships to values, we came to know what was valued by them. I considered their relational space in an educational context. Emergently their values became Strong & Courageous, Learning Something… and Independence. The frames are representative of a game of Jenga that we played as a way for me to know how each participant was with each other; how they were with themselves. The making of the artefact enabled each of us to experience Mount Rowan’s values of Pride, Respect and Excellence through effort.
What stays, is the ways vulnerability has been expressed and where it appears nestled within a connected space that’s known, visible, held quietly and unspoken of. Trusting that if we show up and are there, we are being courageous, trying to learn ways to be and engage with others. So there can be connections, for learning to occur. I am very glad that I chose the voice I did. It has now enabled me to find my own voice and begin to use it.