“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.” Georgia O’Keeffe. The process is what matters most to me and what I hope to instill in my students, as they use art as another means of expression.
My students are incredible!
They come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, but bring energy and desire to our classroom. Some crave attention, some want books, some need hugs, and others, a chance to explore who they are and what talents they possess. Our school places a large emphasis on literacy, as we should, but in my heart I believe a balanced school experience is one that taps into ALL the unique modalities that children learn from best. Whether it be music, linguistics, numbers, kinesthetic, nature, and many others, I want to be able to provide a place where students can try new things and use materials they may not have access to at home. I also feel that my students deserve the same resources that students in middle class neighborhoods receive. All students deserve a quality education, with exciting and meaningful opportunities. By incorporating more art into my instruction, I hope to do just that.
My students will create monthly self-portraits, using different art materials each time to create a new and creative piece of art that reflects who they see themselves as. We are also very fortunate to have our classroom be the closet one to the school garden. Multiple times throughout the year we take our science lesson outside, with clipboards in hand, we sketch and write using a "Scientist's Eye." Many social studies and science lessons lend themselves to the arts. I would love for my students to have a place in the room where we keep art supplies that belong to the students and a designated area where they can create art, hence the need for an easel. My students enter the school year at the age of 7, so being able to define their space is also important as a management tool. Having a two-sided easel means that children can share a space, but have an area that is their own.
Adding a painters easel to our classroom may seem like a small donation, but in my eyes, the opportunities it will create for students will be HUGE!
As a teacher who plays classical music while my students write, and one who reads aloud stories in funny voices, I feel as though an essential aspect of good teaching is one that is tapping into WHO your students are and WHAT motivates them to work hard and try new things. Art allows people to release emotions, ideas, and simply, have fun, too.
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