Monday, October 13, 2008

Working with teens and the full moon...

Mr. Bob and Ninja Monkey

Today was another of my regular Monday afternoon programs with the teens. This week, the plan was to make Gocks - goth sock puppets.

But when you get a group of mostly teen boys together, you never know what the outcome might be. For whatever reason, my usual group on Monday afternoon is boys. At this point some of them just show up, no matter what we're doing. Today it was a crafty theme that might have been more appealing to girls. But since there weren't any there (aside from myself, and the one that wandered through for about five minutes), I believe the boys felt more comfortable being creative and just jumping in to the activity.

Their reaction at first was a little cool, but I started making one. As you might imagine, they like to visit, so before they knew it they were sifting through the various things I had available and putting together sock puppets too. A couple of the boys just hung out and talked with each other (major topic - video games), but several got into the creative groove.

They didn't stop at the sock puppets - once the creative dam broke they just sort of went with the flow and made whatever they felt like. I had quite a lot of donated/miscellaneous fabric, yarn, pipe cleaners, etc. for the kids to make use of. They came up with all sorts of interesting things. The funniest by far though, had to be the two boys who made capes. At one point I felt like a dressmaker, as I helped them staple things on to the fabric to make clasps for the capes.

I love the combination of "little kid" and teenager that surfaces in 6th graders. They still haven't quite given up all the things they did when they were little, but they like to act more grown up as well.

Two of the older boys are in the process of making a skeleton out of neon pipe cleaners. It isn't quite finished, but it is more than amazing! I'll have photos for sure when it is finished...


Working with teens is incredibly rewarding. When I started library school, I thought I wanted to be a children's librarian. It didn't take long for me to decide that was the LAST thing I wanted to do - I can't imagine having to think like a toddler or preschooler for the next however many years. And frankly, there are plenty of people that want to work with the little kids - but teens? You have to really WANT to be doing what you're doing. They are such a vibrant part of society - yet most people think of them only as troublemakers or worse, don't think of them at all. And really, all they need is validation - somebody to listen to them, and provide a safe place where they can be themselves without judgement.

Well - some of them are a little weird, or maybe a lot weird - but that's okay. They can come to my programs any time.

Of course, the full moon is brining out the, um... different people this week.

Working at the library is NEVER dull!

Looking forward to Halloween as well! I have a group of girls that are helping plan an after hours party - it's going to be fun! I think we'll have a pretty good group showing up. Lots of fun!

Halloween treat pumpkins

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