Thanks Jeremiah

This week I had a small group of students come to art a few minutes early.  I always love moments when I have just a handful of kids, especially the normally quiet kids, because I get a chance to really hear them.  These students had just come from a pull out support group for reading.

One kid, we'll call him Jeremiah, puts his head on the table, looks and me and says, "I don't like school."

There was a pause.  I am never really sure how to respond to this statement.

He then proceeds to say, "I don't like most of school.  I do like art and P.E."

I asked him why he liked those parts of school.

He took a second and said, "I like art because I get to do things like paint and create.  In P.E. we get to run and play games."

I can't remember what I said, or if class came in - this quick conversation not only made my heart break but reminded me of why I do what I do. 

I teach art for kids like Jeremiah.  I teach art for kids that 'learning' is a true struggle.  They have to work 3x as hard to learn the same information as "normal" kids -- everyday, for 7ish hours they struggle -- then 2ish times a week, they get to be "normal" - they don't have to work so hard, they can enjoy learning.

I teach art for the kids that need a place to smart, to overcome their dyslexia, their ADD, their processing delays -- I teach art to gives kids a place to feel like everyone else, while becoming more themselves.

Thanks Jeremiah for refreshing my perspective.


Brasil said...

Ms. Novak, I am not an art teacher but acquired "Arche Noah" (just yesterday) from the family of a very good friend of mine who recently died. I was mainly attracted to "You are a guest of nature....." which is why I love it. But in looking up info about it on the internet, I came across your blog. Boy did I learn a lot! I am someone who is always in a hurry and reading your blog while looking at the print made me realize I need to stop and smell the flowers....something my friend who passed would always tell me. When I saw the fence, it all clicked. I am not one who reads blogs, so hopefully this message gets you...just wanted to say thanks for helping me open my eyes and good luck with your future Organized Chaos projects!

Anonymous said...

Your post described me as a student. I made friends with the art teacher in elementary school and grew up to be just like my idol! I am an art teacher. I love my job!