It really does make a difference when you post an explanation about the
processes involved with student work. I include, whenever applicable, the
name of the process, a brief explanation of history, description of unusual
media, vocabulary terms and definitions, steps involved and objectives of the
lesson disguised in layman's terms. It adds validity to the display. People
know my students are learning (and they readers are, too). With today's fancy
word processors and printing programs it is easy to make these snazzy looking
in a short period of time. Many times I pull information right from the file
containing the lesson plan. I mount them on colored construction paper and
laminate if I think I might use them again.
I never cease to be amazed at how many people (parents, faculty, students and
the general public) actually read these and look for evidence of the items in
the work. I even get phone calls asking about more specifics. Much of the
public is wanting to become informed. It also adds validity to my program.
People don't think my students come to art to just color, paste, and have an
easy class. I tell my shell-shocked students that face one assignment after
another that they must have been confused when they signed up for art -- just
because it was a short little word with three letters, they thought it was
going to be a breeze. Many say that they work harder in art than in any
academic class. Yeah! I tell them the class should be enjoyable, but not
necessarily always what they would prefer to be doing.
Mary Jane Young
T. R. Miller High School