What can one person do?
As you begin the new year think about what you as an art teacher can do to further the message of the importance of art education. I have talked all month about assessment and how it validates what we do in very tangible ways. Think about how you can deliver the message about the importance of arts to your students, staff, administrators, parents and community.
You have the power to inform people about the importance of the arts for all students. Think about ways to deliver your message, to get people involved, to spread the word about how creativity is one of the most important tools a student carries into his future. Along with creativity students need to have the ability to persevere and want to continue to grow and learn.
According to recent studies, their has been a decrease in children's creativity over the last decade. Why? The drill and kill mentality has taken over our schools. We need to show the people who make decisions the importance of creativity, problem solving, ingenuity and perseverance in our educational setting. Invite people in to see what children do in your classroom. Do staff presentations and get classroom teachers excited about teaching using the arts. Post statements that demonstrate the level of learning taking place in your classroom by your students. Have students write artist's statement that reflect the level of learning going on with their work.
We are a necessity but we must stand up and let our voices be heard. Remember the squeaky wheel gets oiled, be the squeaky wheel about your art program. Let everyone know how important the arts are to children's development and education. Start the new school year by becoming a banner waver for the arts! I wish you a successful school year filled with creativity, support and most of all FUN!