After school time for most of my childhood was completely unstructured by adults, who left it up to us children to figure out how to entertain ourselves. I remember seldom having any homework and spending a great deal of time reading books, and playing outside with the neighborhood kids. We created imaginary worlds, made up our own games, dramas, art, carnivals circuses-you name it we came up with it. We went everywhere we could get to on foot or by bike. We played, fought, and worked out our own rules for our neighborhood play community. I have very fond memories of running wild in the woods, and all the dramas, and schemes we devised.
I attribute some of the qualities I have today to this freedom and self direction I had when I was a child. For example, In every job I have tried to find new ways to learn, grow and change. When that was not happening anymore I would look for a new job in which I could re-invent myself in some way. The potential to use my imagination in new ways along with working to make the world a better place is what has drawn me to continue to take classes and to start a business.
One difference between now to when I was a child is how much more scary it is to keep trying new things and keep changing. As a child, I didn't really understand the risks. Now I can look back and see how my wholehearted approach to jumping into a new endeavor sometimes ended up creating later irreversible consequences that I regretted. However mostly, this mindset has enabled me to follow my passions and has made some of my dreams come true. My childhood experience has made me a believer in student-centered approaches to teaching and learning. I see great value in giving students the chance to bring their own talents and passions into the classroom and to be able to pursue their own ideas.