As an artist and art teacher, I truly understand the importance of art in the lives of children and take my mission in life to educate today's youth very seriously! While we (those in the arts) may be the class that allows others to have plan time or be seen as "just the fun" class.....art teachers and others in the arts work hard to provide a class culture that meets the needs of all learners and give our students experiences that allow them to gain skills that are essential to their success as individuals and to be successful in a world that continues to change.
I know there a several people that understand this but there are many that do not!
Art is fun but art also allows students to enhance their creative capacity, critical thinking skills, innovate, make, problem-solve, express themselves and create! My focus is not on creating just artists but my main goal is to create students that have an appreciation for the arts, understand the influence culture and the world has on art (vice versa), express themselves, enhance students' mental capacity to solving problems and thinking outside of the box. Art allows students to take on new media in a variety of ways and interpret themes and ideas in their own way. They make mistakes, they learn from them, they learn from each other and I facilitate this process by exposing my students to a wide range of ideas/techniques/processes/opportunities, giving my students choices, providing them with the tools necessary to grow and allowing our art studio to be a safe place to explore and experiment.
With that, I hope that my teaching leads to students that have creative and innovative minds that can easily adapt and work through challenges they may encounter in life as well as have the tools and knowledge needed to express themselves creatively in every environment they encounter. Whether it is high school and they must collaborate in a group effectively, work on a new idea for their business or within a career they chose. I want my students to be equipped with a mind that can solve problems and work there way through them...Know how to use technology creatively and as a viable resource. I am hoping my students acquire the skills to find innovative solutions to issues that exist and that may come in our future.
Overall, Art is essential and has a chance to give children skills that will be beneficial to them in the 21st century! In my classroom, you will see many opportunities that allow my students to grow in this manner! In a world that constantly changes, we have to think differently than most. The use of the 4 C's (creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking) is a great start to making this a reality.
To all my art teachers and others in the arts! We are making a difference....keep doing what you're doing! I love what I do!