Dispatches From the Playground

Watching the students at play brought to mind one of my favorite quotes:


“Tinkering is what happens when you try something you don’t quite know how to do, guided by whim, imagination and curiosity.  When you tinker, there are no instructions—but there are also no failures, no right or wrong ways of doing things.  It’s all about figuring out how things work and reworking them.


Contraptions, machines, wildly mismatched objects working in harmony—this is the stuff of tinkering.


Tinkering is, at its most basic, a process that marries play and inquiry.”


From www.exploratorium.edu/tinkering


The Valley playground is a tinkerer’s dream.  Open-ended exploration leads to endless discoveries, and the process of making endless discoveries helps kids build an absolutely essential belief:  that they can solve any problem they may encounter with playfulness and curiosity.  Playful learning builds resilience and stamina for problem solving.  Tinkerers delight in whimsey, trial and error and fun.  The Valley kids I have met, both at school and in my remote building classes, embody this playful tinkerer’s mindset.  It has been a pleasure getting to know them even during this very unusual year.  


Thank you for welcoming me into the Valley community.  I’m so excited to be here.


By Alice Baggett, Director of Teaching and Learning