SchoolArts Magazine

MAY-JUN 2007

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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P o i n t Art o f V i e w Football Carol Cheney W henIwasworkingas apre-serviceteacher,I hadaninspiringexperience.Iwashelpinga studentnamedDeVaughn,whowas frustratedbythatday'ssketchbook assignment.Theclasswassupposedtobedrawingapileofshoes, capturingallthedetailsandvalues. Heunderstoodwhatwasexpected fortheassignment,butcarryingit outwasnotcomingeasilytohim. Heraisedhishandforhelp,andas Italkedwithhim,weexperienced amomentofconnectionwherewe bothlearnedabouteachother'sperspective. Ofcourse,I'vewatchedafew games,passedaballwithfriends, andevenplayedinthemarching bandinhighschool,butI'venever understoodorenjoyedthegame formyself.ThatishowDeVaughn viewedart. IbegantothinkaboutwhatI wouldneedfromhimifwewere togooutontothefootballfield together.HowwouldIbestlearn? Iwouldneedhimtotellmethe mostbasicthingsaboutfootball withoutmakingmefeelfoolish.I wouldwanthimtomodelexactly whatwasexpectedofme.Iwould wanthimtobeunderstandingofmy helplessfeelings,encouragingmy feebleattempts,yetchallengemeto tryharderandstrengthenmyskills sothatonedayIwouldlovethe gamejustashedid. FindingSimilarities DeVaughntoldmethathecouldn't failartbecausehewasrequiredto keephisgradesuptoplayfootball. Juststaringathisblanksheetof paperwasmakinghimworrythat TheArtProblem hewouldbekickedoffoftheteam! ThenIknewwhatIneededtodo HeaskedmewhyIevenlikedart. forDeVaughn.Ihelpedhimtolook Iresponded,"DeVaughn,artisto attheshoesanddecidewhathe mewhatfootballistoyou.Whydo wantedtodraw.Ishowedhimwith youlikefootball?"Hethoughtfora myfingershowwidetheshoewould moment,andthen beforagoodcomsaidthatfootball We experienced a moment position.ThenI wasawaythathe of connection where we encouragedhimto coulddosomegetthebasicshape both learned about each drawnsothatI thingtoexpresshis other's perspective. emotions,thatit couldhavesomewascool,andthat thingtohelphim hegotreallyexcitedaboutitwhen with.Heattemptedthisand,even hegottoplay."That'sexactlywhy thoughitwasn'tperfect,wehada Ilikeart,"Isaid.Hisexpression startingpoint.Ireturnedtohelp becamethoughtful,andIcouldtell himthroughouttheclassperiod, thatthisconceptwasfascinatingto encouraginghimandassistingas him. needed.Eventhoughhedidn'tthink Atthatmomentitoccurredto hisdrawingwasgood,Iwasproudof methatDeVaughnwasprobably himfortheworkheputintoitand feelingthesamewayIwouldifI thechangeinhisattitude. werethrownoutontoafootball IdonotexpectDeVaughnto fieldandexpectedtodowell.Idon't becomethemosttalentedartistin knowthefirstthingaboutfootball. theworld.However,ifhecanlook atanartworkandknowthatitis SchoolArts May/June2007 specialtoitscreatorinthesame waythatplayingfootballisspecial tohim,thenIhaveaccomplished somethingamazingandextremely satisfying.And,ifhewillbewillingtotryeventhoughheknowshe won'tlikelyeverbeanartist,then Ihavehelpedhimtobecometeachable.Openingone'smindisthefirst steptowardgrowth. Today,DeVaughnaskedmeifI wasinMrs.Dorton'sclasssoIcould learnhowtobeanartteacher.Itold himthathewascorrect."Cool," hesaid,"Well,you'regoingtobea goodone.Yourstudentsaregoingto likeyoualot."Thenhereturnedto hisseatandkeptworking. Icouldn'thidemyhugesmile.He hadjustshownmethatourshort conversationthedaybeforehadnot beenwasted.Ithadmeantenough tohimthathehadgoneoutofhis waytoencouragemeinmyjourney towardbecominganartteacher, perhapsbecausehesawthatforme itwouldbethesameashimplayingfootballwiththeprofessionals. Thesearethemomentsineducationthatkeepteachersaliveand willingtogiveofthemselvesagain andagain,dayafterday,andyear afteryear. Carol Cheney was a preservice teacher at the time she wrote this article. clcheney@ bsu.edu

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