These are my first attempts to paint trees. I have joined a watercolour class - something I've wanted to do for a while. I was very pleased to find that my local Adult Education Centre was running one at the most convenient time possible. It's is an established class so I am one of just two new girls. We sit together and whisper about how we are not very good and how we will never be able to paint like the others. We sneak glances at each other's work and admire and say how we think it's so much better than our own. We are anxious about getting it wrong and, and I speak for myself here, are jealous of other's praise and eager for teacher to notice us.
It's a scary thing, learning something new. It makes the learner vulnerable. I really don't want to make mistakes, even though I know they will cost me nothing. I don't want to be seen as a failure and yet I am desperately looking for affirmation. I am easily discouraged and get tired quickly. A word of encouragement brings a smile to my spirit and a harsh word a tear to my eye.
I think it is an absolutely vital experience as an educator to put myself in this place, over and again, to feel afresh the vulnerablility of the learner as I teach my children