It's certainly more than just a summer job.
The idea came to her last fall. She wanted to find a way to earn money, of course, but even more, she wanted to apply, experiment, and share what she herself had experienced for so much of her youth.
Throughout the years, we've been blessed to have mentors for Eliza who've taught art classes in their homes. Each of these role models have helped inspire, educate, and light the creative spark inside that little artist heart of hers.
The seed that was planted within her is now growing and flourishing.
You learn so much more about the thing you love when you teach it to another person.
And as I've observed all that she's done to make this little entrepreneurial and teaching experience unfold, I've been so amazed at what she's learning through this whole process. Every bit of it, she herself owns.
She's self- motivated. She's learning to plan. To organize. To initiate. To be her own boss. To envision and then make her ideas a reality.
To communicate with parents/adults-- through phone calls, face- to- face conversations, and email-- her detailed lesson plans and course outlines. Plans and ideas that she alone has spent so much time and thought into making it become the best possible experience for these students of hers.
She's learning how to market herself in advertising her lessons through the fliers she took around in our area.
She is learning how to project her income and then budget accordingly her funds to buy and maintain supplies. Tithing or donating 10% of what she earns to donate to others in need.
She's learning what it means to teach. Developing her love and understanding of little children in a concrete, real world way.
She's understanding that it's the joy of the creative process that children need when it comes to art instruction. The chance to experiment with different media. A chance to look at the world in a whole new way. An opportunity to learn about the elements of art in a happy, no pressure way. The chance to be inspired by famous artists in history. A chance to play. To form new friendships. To have a teenage mentor and example to look to.
I stand off in the sidelines, silently watching her, letting her fly. Standing in awe at the way her positive, kind and gentle nature blesses these thirteen children. Amazed at the quiet, creative atmosphere of learning and respect that she's created, carefully planned and worked for. Observing her never ending patience. Her developing leadership. Her developing confidence. Hearing encouraging, praising words coming out of her mouth. Inspired by the calm, presence she exudes in all the ways she gently leads them along.
And I see the faces of these sweet children who look up into her own. Looks of admiration, adoration, and wonder. Looks of love. Looks of happiness.