SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 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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A ll art teachers face challenges. When considering budget cuts, grueling schedules, overcrowded classrooms, and the growing piles of paperwork, it's a wonder we stay sane. How do we keep showing up for work when the odds seem stacked against us? Let's not waste time contemplating this and instead focus on the number-one reason we do this in the first place— the students. In the artroom, students have a freedom of expression that is not always present in other classrooms. It's the perfect place for them to practice independence and claim ownership of their work. This way of working can intimidate some stu - dents, but I assure them that there are no right answers, only right mindsets and right efforts. By being honest with students, art teachers can better gain their trust and appreciation. Art Is a Process With standardized testing taking control of curriculum, students are constantly searching for the one right answer. This way of thinking completely stifles the creativity and imagination of their young minds. When a new art method is intro- duced, the room fills with sighs and complaints of it being too difficult. It's important to ease students into a new task and invite them to explore without feeling intimidated. To do this, I like to give students the chance to add their own artistic style or spin on the final project. I encourage them to make their own P O I N T O F V I E W choices in the art process. I've found that along with metallic paint, glitter crayons, and sequins, unusual sup- plies excite students and motivate those who struggle to get their cre- ative juices flowing. Self-Esteem and Success Students often assume my "teacher example" is unachievable. I stress to them that my lessons are crafted for their success. I've come to realize that I need to demonstrate and model each step of the activity so they can become comfortable with each step and gain confidence in their final work. Practice activities are great self-esteem boosters, since students often forget that art is a process and that it takes more than five minutes to complete a final project. Art takes time. Learning takes time. Sure, try - ing something new can be scary, but that's how students grow. Choices and Challenges CONTINUED ON PAGE 38. Kristen Colquhoun Artwork from student of Kristen Colquhoun, grade eight. Tr ing something new can be scar , but that's how students grow. 8 NOVEMBER 2018 SchoolArts

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