In our visual arts classroom, we serve a very diverse group of students at our Title I middle school. In one class period, a third of the class may consist of students with special needs, another fraction will be part of our highly gifted population while yet another fraction may be homeless, and others may be students who are learning English.
Regardless of the demographics, all students are brought together in the same class period in some cases for the first time.
They learn and practice art together, despite differences in race, religion, academic abilities, special needs, behavioral challenges, socioeconomic status, family makeup, languages, and more.
Some of my students want to do traditional art, but not the same things they did last year and the year before. I would like them to experience aluminum chasing, charcoal drawing and the magic of kneadable erasers, and clay. These are media that my students have little to no experience using. In my opinion, my job as an art teacher is to teach students that anyone can do art, but that just like our fingerprints are unique, so are our styles. I want to give them as many new experiences in visual art as I possibly can, while inspiring those who think they "can't do art" and going beyond the realm of supplies that our school district carries in the warehouse.
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