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May 24 2016

Hello Listservees!

This is my (lucky!) second time writing to everyone on The Listserve so I thought I'd share the spotlight a little. I'm a high school Art and Art History teacher and I asked students in a couple of my classes what they would like to say to the group. A few students decided to share briefly what was on their mind at 7:45 in the morning but first a word or two about what I care about...

I have been teaching art for nearly 20 years and over the last 12 years I have cultivated an art studio class that gives as much (more, really) weight to the process of learning and making art than the physical act or end artifact itself. The class is mixed grades, and considered an elevated (honors) course. Mostly because the students are expected to be intrinsically motivated and we shouldn't be wasting time with behavioral stuff. More important for us to build a culture of rapport and support, to push each other to try new things, and to reflect on our process and what we have learned. In those years I have worked with amazing students who develop a point of view that they carry into the world through study, artmaking, social action and more. I am so amazed at their energy and what they do. And the magic for me is seeing them grow in front of me - become themselves - in our class.

So, back to their thoughts:

We are all just things in a great big thing of things.

Help I'm trapped in the email company

god is god
and i am not
control what you can
let go of what you cannot

be inimitable.

When asked what to talk about I always hit a wall.

pray for the things you want, work for the things you need

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

I just shared exactly as they sent them to me, no editing. I think it typifies how they see themselves: trying out philosophy, thinking on their place in the world. What I wish I could show you are their artworks, the things they make when they stake a claim and pursue a concept artistically. Film, animation, stencil work, music video, graphic design, drawing and more. Every year I get my rosters and am met with enthusiasm, brightness, joy.

So here is a salutation to all the students past and present, all of you thinking about becoming students again, those of you that teach, or those of you with children that are students...celebrate the students and teachers that bring joy, creativity and enthusiasm; share yourself, strive for an awesome inclusive and idea driven community.

Make something every day!

Kate in NJ

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