SchoolArts Magazine

December 2015

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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Page 7 of 54

E D I T O R ' S L E T T E R Visit Follow me on I n preparing for this issue, I came across the above quote on Facebook. It was unat- tributed, but I found the source after a little researching on Google. The author is Beth- any Hill, the principal of Central Elementary School in Cabot, Arkansas. I contacted her and she generously allowed me to share her story of how it came about: " When I was an assistant principal, we had so many kids with 'behavior issues' who were actually misunderstood. Once we dug a little and learned their history, we learned how to better serve them. Also, when we listen to them before making assumptions or judgments, they teach us a lot more about themselves through their history. Then we can help them build their future story." In the artroom, almost everything a student creates has a story to tell, most often a personal one. As art teachers, we may be in the best posi- tion to carefully listen to our students' stories and to help them tell these stories through art. T he articles in this issue detail many approaches to encourage your students to tell their own stories. "Memory Mapping," by Melinda Turnbull, presents maps as a form of recording stories; "Ledger Art," by Patricia Mar- tinez and Melanie Robinson, takes inspiration from Native American ledger paintings; and "Recycled Reads," by Carla Valentino, trans- forms used books into works of art. We all make meaning of our lives through the stories we tell others and ourselves. How can we best help our students tell theirs and build their own future stories? All we have to do is listen and understand. "Every child you pass in the hall has a story that needs to be heard. Maybe you are the one who is meant to hear it." —Bethan Hill Nancy on the road to Taos, New Mexico, in search of a story. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 3

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