Sonja shares her joy of creating with her students and followers

“When my classroom is full of materials and things that my colleagues gasp as they’re passing by – that’s when I really thrive.” Those are the words of educator Sonja Stankovic, who through her Instagram account with almost 10,000 followers offers creative inspiration to both her colleagues and fellow creatives.

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There are material samples, tools, blocks, pencils, and sketches scattered throughout the classroom. Sonja feels that both she and her students can live out their creativity here.

– I don’t see the chaos – all I see is the flowing creativity. Creativity is often a messy process and I want to let it be that.

Sonja is a trained pedagogical counsellor and has combined this with working as an art and textile craft teacher in primary school for over 10 years. She sees her ability to help each individual succeed as her main strength.

– A large part of my working day is about creating tasks that all students can learn from and succeed in. I work with students according to their abilities, which give them the feeling that they can succeed and develop.

– Primary school pupils are especially wonderful because they rarely have an idea of how things must or should be. It makes their creativity infinite, which inspires and challenges me in my role as a teacher and creator.

– My projects are often quite small to start with, but during the process the students come up with their own ideas and suddenly we have a huge project where everyone is involved. That’s creating at its best.

City of students

An example of such a project is “Water, Lake Vättern and humans”, which with the students’ influence resulted in a 3 × 1.5-meter painting where they created both imaginary and real buildings that represented Jönköping (city in Sweden).

– Among other things, the students included Munksjötornet, Munksjöbron, and their own homes. The joy of creating during the project was absolutely fantastic.

– It gives me joy to be able to share in creating with my students. At home, my joy of creating is timeless and calm, it becomes almost like therapy. In school, my joy of creating is being able to share that joy with the students.

Something for everyone

On her sizeable Instagram account – @sonjaskreativakaos, Sonja inspires both teachers and craft-hungry followers to have the courage to be creative.

– I post the things that I make, that my students make, and share tips and tricks. I’d describe my account as varied; I’m a versatile creator and post whatever is on my mind.

– It means that there’s something for everyone; both teaching colleagues and others who like creativity. I try to show that creating doesn’t have to be that difficult! In fact, it should be simple and joyful. Always!

The right tools provide better conditions

– You don’t need to buy a whole lot of tools and materials to start out,” Sonja claims.

– I’d suggest that you decide on a material you want to work with, and try it out a bit to see if you like it.

When you’ve made up your mind, then it’s time to buy real tools, and I think you’re better off buying things like a really good pair of scissors than 10 mediocre ones.

It’s important to have good-quality and adequate tools because that provides better conditions, but I don’t recommend anyone to buy a lot of stuff just for the sake of trying things out. Quite the opposite!

A good example of a setting where quality tools are important is in school,” Sonja says.

– We need to offer our students the best conditions. For example, we have storage and carpenter’s benches from Sjöbergs in the woodwork classroom. We’ve had them for many years and they work very well.

– That’s a shining example of how good things make everyday life easier!

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