Today I want to share my impressions of a very interesting lesson that took place at Ulbroka Art
The noise at recess in an art school is the same as in an ordinary secondary school. The children
enter the classroom. As the lesson begins, the silence reigns. The atmosphere is working: two wide
tables, around which the young craftsmen are seated. At the edge there are two large blocks of clay.
The teacher is a young energetic woman, Daira, who nthusiastically accepted our proposal to hold a
joint creative workshop with a boarding school for blind and visually impaired children. Today is a
preparatory workshop involving children from the Ulbroka Art School. They have been attending
classes at the art school for a number of years and have already learned a lot.
– Kids, today we are going to have an unusual activity,” Daira begins the lesson.
There is silence in the classroom. I worry how the children will take our idea? What if they won’t be
interested? Will they understand what this is all about?
To tell the truth, when I was a child I did not even think about the fact that there are people in the
world who perceive and experience the world in a completely different way. And how could I know
about there people, if they have been isolated from society since their childhood? Specialized
kindergartens, boarding schools… This is a usual way for many blind people… And if someone
breaks out of this system we are surprised: where does such a person come from? How does he
live? Does he understand us? How to communicate with him?
Daira is an experienced educator and the children listen carefully to the purpose of our project.
„In order to better understand the world of the blind, we will be working blindfolded today – the
The silence is broken by children’s exclamations: “Yay!!!! How exciting!!!”. The children are waving
their hands cheerfully. A thought flashes through my head: “We did it!” My heart is beating ten times
faster. I think, “I wish these children would keep these amazing abilities in them longer – to be excited
about new ideas, enjoy communication, to go along with them.”
The whole activity is in the same breath. Working in pairs – in four hands. It never ceases to amaze
me at the agility with which these children do amazing things with such small hands, and even
blindfolded; how they help those who cannot find objects on the table blindly; how they discuss
whether a blind child can understand what they are doing.
After the lesson – lots of questions: how do they read? How do they understand where to go? What
are they interested in? And many, many more hows and whys… Many of the answers we will get
after we visit the boarding school, where we will have a little excursion into a new world for us.