SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Caption 40 OCTOBER 2018 SchoolArts H I G H S C H O O L A s a high-school art teacher, I typically witness a barrage of teenage emotions. Every September, I psyche myself up, thinking that things will be different at the beginning of the school year. Guess what—they're not! Dealing with teenagers will probably never change. For the most part, teens act the same way every year, and the way they feel about themselves never changes. If you were to take young adults from the 1950s and teleport them to 2018, they would have the same insecurities about their bodies that teens do today. So, what gives? Nothing new, right? After overhearing a student talking about how she thinks she is ugly, I got to wondering if I could I create a lesson that would tackle body image and self-esteem face to face. Zap! A light bulb went off and I thought: caricatures! Comical characterizations. What better way to face your fears than by staring at them face to face? The Master Plan When I overheard that student describing herself in such a negative way, I was alarmed. I immediately felt driven to create a therapeutic project that would allow students to understand their insecurities and, perhaps, overcome them. I chose to have students develop a cartoon-like representation rather than a tradi - tional self-portrait. By creating a caricature, they would have to come to terms with some of their insecuri - ties about their appearance and exag- gerate them. In essence, I hoped that they would embrace them. I knew this presented a potential nervous breakdown for half the class, so I had to think long and hard about how to execute this plan. Face Your Fears I started by presenting students with the project and explaining my guide - lines. I asked them to pair up and make a list of their partner's most distin - guishing facial features. Of course, this Michael Kerr Face Your FEARS

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