From: James Rees
This is the last post from me for the NAEA Monthly Mentor blog and also the end of school year for many of us. I'm sure that I'm not alone in wondering if all that extra work was worth it and if it really makes a difference in the life of my students.
As teachers we have to be creative within the constraints of time, money, and finding venues for our students to present their work. Having students participate in art shows can help you find solutions to these obstacles and allows them to expand their knowledge of this standard. You can also team up with other teachers to have group shows where you work together to find places to exhibit student work.
We may not be able to reach all students by working hard to get all students to really engage in creating, responding, presenting, and connecting, but the arts matter and can have a profound effect on the life of many students.
Consider the effect that taking time to beat the obstacles and help students understand the value of art had for these students who left me notes on the last day of class.
"Not only do you care about my work...but about me as a person. You've supported me and believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself."
"He inspires me to be a more interesting person, to work hard, and to listen to how I feel. I am a better human being because of him."
Art makes a difference for many students, and so do our efforts.