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As a student, I was a very talented young artist. My skill was high, yet I was
intimidated by new media and being around other students who were "artsy". My
creativity was lacking--I could draw anything from a picture, then mix some
creativity in and it exhibited high craftsmanship. Everyone raved.
I was put into a A.P.-advanced placement class, and was dumbfounded. All
these "artsy" kids were doing unusual projects-ink blowing, air brushing,
painting, etc. I sat there and had no idea what I was doing. I was used to
assignments, and here we were our own bosses. I come from an Italian-catholic
background where free thinking wasn't allowed. My self-esteem, already low,
The point is, although my teacher gave me a few nudges to expand, he never sat
down with me to really talk about my block, tried to understand me or gave me
any self-confidence. In fact, he gave all his attentions to his "high
Then I went back to student teach there, and everything bitterly opened up to
me. I got to see and hear in the office how he favored his prize
winners--from our art show to the state fair shows. I felt like an insecure
child again. (Not to mention how the teachers put me down for a personal
problem I had a hard time dealing with-I thought artists were supposed to be
The moral-?--take the time to understand the shy students--be sensitive to the
students you know "got it" but just need your help. The prize winners don't
need you as much as the struggling students do.
Thanks for listening, Maria