<< Do any of you have any more ways of getting through to parents as why
art IS important to their child?? >>
I am afraid that this is, and may always be, an uphill battle....and no matter
what we do, there will always be some people who won't be convinced, as they
seem to take some perverse pride in their shallow lives.
However, if we can make the difference in even a handful of lives, isn't that
worth it? I was pleasantly surprised recently. I started requiring
portfolios of my third, fourth, and fifth graders three years ago. It caught
everyone off-guard at first, including the classroom teachers. The first
quarters work goes home at parent conferences, and a couple of our teachers
forgot to save the folders for me to use in class...they sent it all home!
But it's now "established", and my older kids get xerox info sheets on artists
and various types of artwork. We write our own critiques, and fill out
questionaires, all of which are stored for one quarter, and then go home to
make room for the next quarter's work. The exception is my fifth
graders....they are saving one piece of their work from each semester for our
"portfolio celebration" at the end of the year. Older students are free to
move on to the next project when they are done, rather than wait for the rest
to "catch up"...it usually means that I have three or four projects going at a
time, and class is a lot of fast paced, one on one instruction. The kids like
it. But I got a bonus treat about two weeks ago when a Mom came in and said
that they were saving all the xerox sheets for their own little art history
file at home. Wow....I'm still stunned....
It's tough, but we do reach some of them. And for those we do, we make a
difference. I know that....I was reminded by a former student, Jennifer, last
week when she announced that she was going on to college in a few years to
become an architect....something that started back when I covered F. L. Wright
'way back in 4th grade, all those years ago....
Batavia City Schools