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[teacherartexchange] apathetic students

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From: KPRS2 (kprs2_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jun 18 2007 - 18:40:47 PDT


These are questions that my friends and I ponder daily. We wonder if
students "back in the day" were more passionate than today. We wonder if
somehow we haven't hooked into what 'turns them on'. We wonder if somehow we
lack the key to their locks. At the same time, I see sparks of life in my
students, but only after feeling like I am standing on my head daily to make
them see life differently. Perhaps they are more jaded and not so easily
moved as my students in the past. Perhaps they have seen it "all" earlier in
life, or are not amused at the magic I have to offer. But I do manage to
wear most of them down. Out of the blue, one of them will react to something
I have said, or shown them. Who knew that teaching high schoolers puppetry
would light their fires? Who knew that performing at elementary schools,
arts festivals, 8th grade orientation etc, with a homemade puppet on their
hands behind stages with head mics would make them squeal with delight? (and
these are GUYS!) Who knew that teaching a whole class how to knit would
ignite a frenzy in mitten making that had my husband shaking his head, and
cause two of my students to go to college to major in FIBERS?? My AP Art
History students have said to me "Mrs. Hass, when the apocolypse happens we
are coming to you, you know how to do everything". And perhaps that says it
all. They are products of our times, on the brink of being scared to death,
afraid of failing, but with a bravado that fools us all to think they don't
care.

Today my advanced students took their written exam. They were charged to
come to class with 20 questions they would ask a famous artist. When they
came to class they were told that they were interviewing themselves at age
35, and they had to write an article for TIME magazine and include an
illustration. They had two hours to complete the task. They all took the
full time. Their articles were full of hope, promise, and very positive
about their personal future. They were also funny, insightful,and in their
own "voice". I have hope for them.

San D

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