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25 August 2010

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Noelle

I care about it like crazy! I think it's so sad how the arts have been eliminated from schools. My daughter went to preschool and now kindergarten at a private arts academy and I'm working with them to develop an art appreciation course for little ones. You should do the same thing!

Dena

I like Big Brother now that they are showing Lane more. If Ragan and Matt have some action it will be even better. (why, I don't know)

Trisha

I'm hoping Lane wins simply because I can actually stand him. I don't mind Enzo either but his paranoia is going to get him kicked out.

Art- I always hated that in my school art was so structured. I remember painting colorful pictures (Not that I'm great, but I'm not awful awful either) and being told by the teacher (who seemed very artsy) that cows are not purple and giraffes are not pink. :( Sad that it has only gotten worse over the past 30 years. Kids need to be able to let their imaginations run wild and art is one way to do this.

Lisa

I too, am dismayed, by my childrens' art and physical education curriculum in a Catholic school. I find myself dreaming up lesson plans and getting excited and wound up about how it "could" be. Mind you, I have zero control over any of it. But, it does not stop me from thinking about it, and often wondering if perhaps, a magnet school would be a better choice. They have 80% a great education, and I know that no system is perfect. It just so happens that I am very passionate about the 20% that they are lacking.

Susan Culver

I totally agree about the lack of art in schools. It sucks bigtime.
And are those tennis balls on the legs of the chairs??? What a great idea to get rid of noise!!
Susan in MN

a

I don't remember much about any art classes except for one in high school and one in college. I would guess the elementary school classes would have been more accurately labelled Crafts, where we were supposed to produce uniform (if marginally personalized) pieces of "art" for display in the hallways. It would be nice to have better programs in art to foster creativity - it's unlikely that creativity is being encouraged in any other part of the curriculum.

leel

omg this subject makes me nuts. i remember art being the ONLY thing I looked forward to from primary school through high school and even, well, some days as an adult. kids LOVE art, and should learn the fundamentals, like they do with math and science, in the early days. the fact that it's not taken seriously is a huge issue in our culture; creativity is everything. i seriously think you would make an AWESOME art teacher. so yah, we could definitely talk Art, you and I, some day :) (OMG. I may have just used my BA - art history & anthropology - for the 1st time ever. ok, not including Jeopardy. So, YAY!)

S

My kids were very lucky that they had a pretty solid art education as elementary students. I found that as they got older (high school age) it was then that they were allowed more freedom with their art. I wish your girls could have that, too!
Maybe you can be the person to change the system there?? :)

Brandy

My kids daughter's will be starting first and third grade in a couple of weeks and they do not have an actual art class. Some of the teachers do really well trying to do art during their class time and other teachers just pass out coloring pages. I think it is really sad that more time isn't spent on art. Art classes are offered outside of school, but they are so expensive and I couldn't afford to pay for 3 kids to go. My son is in preschool and they do a lot more art projects than my daughter's elementary school and that is sad that my preschooler has been exposed to more art than his older sisters.

Lori

Three things drove me to remove my son from Catholic school in 3rd grade - lack of any fun/passion in music and art, an overbearing rule monger of a librarian and a virtually nonexistant gym program. In his Minneapolis public school, gym (3 days a week) includes biking, hiking, ice skating and hockey, rock climbing, sledding and fishing. Art includes drawing, painting, pottery and murals - the school has its own kiln. Media arts and music were just as great. My only regret is that I didn't move him earlier.

Debbie. S.

I LOVE art!! I am a 4-K teacher in a Catholic school and I would rather teach art than ABC's and 123's! I love to see little kids express themselves...who cares if a banana is purple or cats grow on trees!! On the other hand, the 3K teacher will tear up a child's paper if the banana is not yellow or there are not apples on the tree! For gosh sakes, these kids are 3 & 4 year olds!!

Michelle Pixie

I think art is SO important! My girls love it and my oldest spends all of her down time with her imagination. She wants to be an artist and a screen writer. My hope is that she never falls into a system where she is stifled. Thankfully she is in the art challenge program at her school and she gets one day a week where she only does art for the whole day. I wish all of the kids got this benifit though because I think my other daughter would also really love to spend a day doing art at school.

sizzle

Art is so important! Not everyone will be a good artist but learning to self-express is fundamental for kids. It makes me sad that it's mediocre or being cut from curriculum entirely.

Rita

I know my thoughts. My 9 yr old hates art. Part of it is he struggles with fine motor issues, the other part is a horrid art teacher that criticized and belittled his efforts in K-2nd grade. Any liberties he took with an assigned project were deemed failure to follow directions. Last night was back to school night and the kids made self portraits labeled with only a number and we were supposed to guess which one was theirs. Sadly, I knew to look for most crudely drawn portrait with the least amount of effort and I was right which one was his. Interestingly though, my white boy made himself black...

Debby Pucci

I'm enjoying BB this year. I DVR After Dark and watch it in the morning when I blog.

I don't remember doing art back in the day. I guess it didn't impress me. I do think that art is important and especially at a young age. Maybe you should come up with your own art studies at home and give them the supplies to express themselve.

miss kitten

my daughter's best friend is an elementary school art teacher (in florida). his classes are 30 minutes long. in a portable building. he has the pre-k kids "who always have to go potty, and never all at the same time". so the first 10 minutes of class is getting them to sit down and get started on something, 10 minutes to actually WORK on it, 10 minutes for cleanup and get in line to go to the next class. and the potty needs? the kids go in pairs to the *next* portable, but he doesnt have a student teacher, so he has to stand in the doorway to watch them go over to the next building, swiveling his head to watch the kids in *his* class, then watching for the kids to come back.

no, art isnt what it used to be at *all*.

180|360

How depressing! This further promotes my plans for the upcoming school year. I hope you can at least make a difference in the school -- even if it is just as a sub!

Dana

Do we as parents have the option to say something regarding this art teacher? I so wish our kids could have free reign to use their creative minds in Art, because if they don't the school is producing followers. I definitely want my children to be free thinking leaders and sure you do too.

Sarah R

I think you would be better suited to teach it! I hate when teachers don't give a fuck and it's all routine -- it's like they don't care about the outcomes of the students.

I am fortunate that the schools around here are very good, even the public ones. It's hard to explain that to people who live in bigger cities, but if you look up the statistics for education in our area, they are really good schools.

Carrie

My kid doesn't even have art in his Catholic school. Helluva music program though.

AnakinOU

I like the way you think. My memories of art class when I was in elementary school (public school, western PA) include little more than making rubber-cement balls and sniffing markers. High school (public school, southwest IN) wasn't any better, when it came to actual education. The focus of every art class I've attended has always been "make this." I suppose it makes some parents happy to be able to readily identify whatever it is their kids made in art class, and the schools just try to give them what they want. It's easier for parents to look at something and say, "Gee, that's a nice giraffe, Billy," than it is to actually ask, "What's that? Why did you do it that way?" etc.

Teach the kids about art, the various media, the history, etc.! Encourage the kids to be themselves (after all, that's what our 2nd graders are reading about in class this week, right?) and express themselves! Sure, structure is good, but if we're teaching our children to be miniature Xerox machines, what's the point in giving them crayons/markers/pencils/paint at all?

Betsy

Sounds like you should be teaching the art class - or maybe AN art class... after school, weekends, summer... when the big brother season is over... A passionate teacher really makes a difference. If it were your class, how would you teach it?

Audra

In Catholic schools the teachers don't need certificates. Can't you usurp this schmuck in some kind of battle of skills, wills or at least an arm wrestling competition? Art gets short shrift everywhere and those of us who care can supplement with extra art classes at places outside of the school day (this goes for drama and music too) for our own littles, but what about those who have parents who don't care? They go on to aspire to boring "safe" things because that's what is valued in their home and, let's face it, society as a whole. From my experience, loud parents at Catholic schools can have A LOT of pull. Make some noise. Or, give his address to everyone who commented on this post and we can all send him cryptic messages and shame him into early retirement.

School Administrator

As a school administrator, did you know it is illegal to post any childs picture on the web unless you have a signed permission from each parent. I am glad that my child is not in that picture.

***if you could pick your child out of this line-up, you belong in the FBI because you have super examining powers.***

justJENN

Ha - I love that picture!!

Serena

I think we lucked out with our school. My kindergarten kiddo has art, music, library, gym and computer--all once a week. And this is in a very large Catholic school. My son's description of his first art class yesterday...Sister____ turned off the lights and drew something on the screen and then asked us to do the same on our paper of what we thought of what she drew. I can live with that--they are in Kindergarten so some directive is needed.

Said school also has a huge band and drama and athletic program and no, we don't pay a zillion dollars a year to go there. Parents made their wants and desires heard and the administration listened. And since I used to substitute teach at a few other schools, sadly, I am VERY biased and quite happy with our year two so far at said school.

Linnee

When I was in Catholic school, we were graded in art projects based on them looking exactly like the sample. I still remember getting a 75 pn a white chalk drawing of a candle on dark blue construction paper because my candle had 4 wax drips instead of 3. Creativity was seen as rebellion in the 60s, I guess.

Dianne

Our PTA sponsors "ArtMasters" in the elementary school. Maybe your school could do something like that? Or there are outside art programs that your daughters could do - for your own sake :) Our middle school eliminated the drama classes due to budget cuts, which is a MAJOR bummer for the high school it feeds into, which has an amazing theatre program. My son LOVES theatre and is thinking of majoring in it in college - he's a senior this year. I'm positive he would not have discovered his passion for theatre without the classes he took in middle school. Sucks that schools have to start eliminating the creative outlets due to budget limitations.

t

Love the picture. I was actually hoping to see my kid in the pic so see you can't please everybody!

Me

You totally art-ified the picture, right? Yeah, block the kids eyes, but the ceiling lights look like you witness protected them, too. And the yellow blots... is this your resume for the lame-o teacher's job??!! Love it!

Me

Crap, didn't read your addendum. Was it there last night when I read this post during evening cocktails? Now I look dumb but I still love the ceiling lights on the lam.

For the record, I'd be wicked pissed if you showed a pic of my kid's back in art class. She might have had a crinkly uniform or I might not have perfected her braid that day.

Ashley Hast

I *loved* art in school. I still love it. My mom paints all sorts'a random bid'nes like saws, milk buckets, antique stuff. My brother's *quite* the artsy one, but can't alphabetize, tell time on an analog clock, etc. My husbands *all* about the art, and so are my kids. They occasionally get carried away with their artistry (similar to me getting carried away with those flipping ***** signs) - which is why my bedroom looks like an effing mural of crazed stick dudes, clouds, mermaids, and crap.

H

Holy cow, I was coming back to read the comments (because I didn't have time when I read the post) and when I saw the edited picture, I thought there must have been a Zombie-Vampire-Space Alien invasion and then I read the your note and the comment and all I can say is WOW. I agree with you, I couldn't have identified any of those children before the edit. As a matter of fact, the first time I saw it, I wondered how you managed to take a picture that hid the kids' identities completely. There's always a critic out there! Yeesh.

elz

Totally depends on the school. My daughter's art class teaches the Masters, theory, and encourages the kids use art as an expression. Hey, come on down here!

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