Do you ever want to shout "I AM A CLASSROOM TOO" or "I AM A TEACHER TOO"?
feel like this here and there. Most times I don't feel singled out or
less of a teacher than grade level teachers - but every once in a while
things add up and suddenly I feel like I'm backed in a corner trying to
fight my way out - trying to prove and explain that just because I teach
art doesn't make me any less of a teacher or any less of a classroom.
when schedules are running smoothly and people are less stressed -
specials teachers get treated with respect and equality(in my
experience) - but the moment things get rough or a planning period is in
jeopardy, even by a few minutes, suddenly it feels as though specials
teachers are less important - that what we are doing with the kids is
just fluff and that our job is to babysit and entertain the kids so that
planning times can be had.
I may not directly teach
reading, writing, or math - but what I do is important. I may not teach
anything that can be 'graded' with numbers or be graphed on a
standardized test, but I teach students life skills that they use in
general education rooms. Students learn valuable skills in my room, not
just how to mix colors or draw in perspective (which honestly is super
hard), but they learn how to cope when their ideas don't pan out. They
learn how to ask for help, how to visualize, how to plan ahead.
Students learn to preserver - students learn stamina in the art room.
They learn to create something completely original by combining new and
prior knowledge - a skill they need in writing for sure.
realize that walking into my room it looks all fun and games - I
understand that when I hang up pictures in the hall they they often look
as though all we did was cut a glue paper. Those pictures represent so
much more than the end product. Those pictures represent all the
skills they need to learn new things in the general ed room.
I do matters. What I do is needed. If for no other reason, I do what I
do because there is that one student in each class that lives their
week for art class. There is always that one kid that can't read well,
that numbers don't make sense, friendships may be hard to make and keep -
but art they can do. Art is where they are smart, confident, at home -
art is the one place they feel okay taking risks.
is one the number one things CEO's and other job hunters are after for
their companies. Our country feeds and runs off of innovators and
inventors, and we are in a creativity crisis. How do you teach
creativity? I often times feel you can't teach creativity, but that you
have to practice and experience creativity. I don't think creativity
can be taught in one particular class or by filling out worksheets, but
rather it is a process. Students need time to try and be creative by
having open ended experiences while melding their prior and new learning
so that they take risks. I love when a kid comes up to me with a
sparkle in their eye and say, "Ms Novak can I try...." or "Ms. Novak can
I add...." That is creativity when they start thinking outside the box
and give something new a try, a chance.
creativity happens in general education rooms, but I tend to feel it
doesn't happen quite the same was as it does in the art room. I am
passionate about what I do and what I teach. There is value and purpose
in my planning and lessons.
All of you out there - please support your ARTs teachers and remember that they are indeed TEACHERS.