The DoSeum is San Antonio's only museum just for children where kids learn by doing, creating and tinkering, instead of just looking and listening.
“Angel made my morning,” my colleague confessed yesterday. “He laid down on the floor and poured beans on his face.” No, it was not the point of the lesson she had designed. It was exactly what Angel needed at the moment, though, and she was happy to facilitate. That is what the Early Childhood Education team is about at The DoSeum.
"Their mother had been hesitant to let Andrew attend the class alongside Clare,
but I insisted he stay, knowing the fantastic learning opportunities that could happen."
Angel and his mother, Erika, are not new to The DoSeum’s enrollment programs, and our way of letting children “do what they do.” I met them in the first spring session of Baby Babble Bounce, and they have since “graduated” to my colleague in Exploring the World through Art. Erika and Angel just so happened to be in a class with Andrew, a vivacious 4-year-old attending Baby Babble Bounce with his younger sister, Clare. Their mother had been hesitant to let Andrew attend the class alongside Clare, but I insisted he stay, knowing the fantastic learning opportunities that could happen.
While Andrew was shy and nervous in his own class, immediately following Clare’s, he blossomed in my Baby Babble Bounce class, and so did Angel. True to current educational research, Andrew was playing the role of the “more knowledgeable other,” and he naturally took Angel on as his apprentice. He showed him how to stack blocks, throw and kick balls, and catch bubbles.
I did not know which baby would benefit from Andrew attending that class, but I saw Andrew himself benefit. He would enter our room with a sense of pride, sing our songs louder than the caregivers, and relish in the attention of Angel. It all became clear to me when the rest of Andrew and Clare's family came during Spring Break: Andrew has two older brothers. He chose Angel so he could finally be the more knowledgeable older "brother" to a boy. Angel quickly integrated Andrew's confident playfulness into his own way of being, and will surely be able to pay it forward to another child in the future.
Sarah Connell has been a Discovery Leader at The DoSeum since it's inception, and has been with the organization in that capacity since 2013. Previously, she was an Elementary Art Teacher in Judson ISD. She would not trade another day in the classroom for a single shift as a Discovery Leader- it's where her educating passion lies. Sarah holds a Masters degree in Secondary Education from Texas State University, and a Bachelors degree in Religion from Cornell College. When she's not at The DoSeum, she can be found in her home ceramics studio FaceTiming with her nieces, ages 2 years and 10 months.