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what we do best


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 01 2005 - 12:12:20 PST

I've been loving all the comments on pack ratting.

I have had 2 snow days for some needed reflection and rest and find
that "unstressed" time has spurred so much creativity in me.

Last week I moved to a new building. I have incredible facilities, but
some things are not ready yet. Between doing all the organization of
my new rooms, I was fretting about about what was not ready yet and
what will I do? The luxury of snow gave me the opportunity to think a
little and not feel so pressured.
And while I was thinking today,I thought art teachers have some special
gifts. Traditionally we have always gotten the short end of the stick
and we make wonderful programs from short ends. Some of us have
budgets that leave others marveling at how we do it? If an art
teacher hangs on to a huge stack of styrofoam trays it's probably
because she has no money for pallets. If an art teacher holds on to
somebody else's trash, it's because some value is placed on the
potential. We see the potential and the transformations and

I'm already regretting all that I trashed in my move. I had a stock
pile of parts and things that was so great for for found object
sculpture. I know I will start saving again.

But that's not my thought for today. My darkroom is not ready and I'm
not sure what I will do with my Photo 2 kids. I started coming up with
a list of things to do outside the darkroom. I came up with a pretty
good list and made up stuff that I didn't know I could. I have enough
for them to do for weeks.

For those of you old enough to know the Madelaine Hunter lesson plan
format -- well I'm monitoring and adjusting and
I think that is what we art teachers do best
we deal with the situation, we hunt and pick and make do with what is
available. We find curious and creative uses for other's junk and
when faced with things like art on the cart we make it happen. Art
doesn't have to come from any fancy materials... art comes from using
what is not so fancy and making it something else.
My struggle with not having all that is not so fancy caused me to dig
a little deeper.

I'm proud that we often do so much with so little. I'm proud that we
find what is to be valued. I'm proud of all art teachers.