By participating in Visual Arts at the high school level, my students learn skills that support all academic subject areas.
For example, a lesson on developing film to make photographs helps students hone skills in math, logic, chemistry, history, and more.
One of the most underdeveloped areas for my young students is what our principal calls social-emotional learning. With so much emphasis on testing and technology, there is little time in the school day for students to interact with each other beyond the confines of their smartphones. Even students who play sports or participate in after school activities are often under so much stress to develop a resume worthy of college acceptance, that they miss out on developing relationships beyond texting and social media.
High school students need opportunities to develop social skills beyond the confines of their smartphone screens. In the art department, we have found that games and celebrations help students relax enough to have fun and engage with their classmates. Students are eager to achieve academic success, games allow them to develop logic and relationships which support them in their journeys.
On Fun Fridays, students look forward to playing games like Monopoly, Connect Four, and UNO, because they know they will have a little time each week to have fun with their friends. I look forward to playing games with the students because I can observe them developing strategies that genuinely help them deal with stress.
These social-emotional interactions allow them to beyond the confines of their smartphones are more likely to develop social-emotional skills.
In our high school visual arts classes, we have observed that students are eager to achieve academic success, but they are challenged when it comes to managing stress and developing relationships beyond texting and social media. Having time to de-stress, play games and develop relationships with classmates also allows students to practice using strategies to cope with stress in a positive way.
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