I work in a small rural community and my students come from very similar backgrounds. It is not a very wealthy community. It is not a very diverse community. We get an occasional student from a big city or different state, but for the most part my students are similar with similar experiences and similar expectations of the world. The most experience they have with diversity is what they see on TV or the internet.
As a teacher, my real calling is to create positive, productive, contributing citizens.
I cannot do that if I do not bring diversity and empathy into my classroom. If I just teach scientific facts and literacy standards, my students will be none of those things and I have failed.
I can accomplish this goal. I can create these students. It is my passion, but I need help. School funding is tighter than ever and teacher salaries are not going up. I can no longer afford to buy everything for my students. Any help provided to assist in accomplishing these goals is greatly appreciated.
Authentic learning takes place when students are actively involved in their academic content. This includes project-based learning at its core and you cannot create a unique project without art.
There is exceptional value in producing citizens who can create instead of simply recite, and it is one of the main reasons educators are turning to STEAM instead of STEM.
Without an artistic piece at the center of this learning, students are again, just regurgitating information.
Anyone can make a model of something that exists already, but true, authentic, intellectual work happens when students go above what is presented and create something totally unique. In order to do this, however, we need supplies. My students frequently use the supplies I've requested including, paint, glue and glitter to make models, posters, and any other object they deem necessary to better understand the topic at hand.
Additionally, when they are able to show me their interpretation of the information we are discussing, I get a better idea of how much they have truly grasped.
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