Tuesday we had our Silent Art Auction benefiting Ms. Perkins, the lady I have been filling in for the past few weeks. The auction, a huge and embarassingly unexpected success, was the brainchild of one of our eighth graders. A few weeks ago he'd wandered into my room, explaining his idea and his reasoning behind it, I gave Ms. Perkins a pretty hard time when I was in her class, and I thought this would be a nice thing to do for her.
Here is some donated artwork from teachers and students. This is just a small sampling!
Students add a Link of Love to the chain we've been starting in my art classes. It nearly spans the width of my room now!
More donated artwork.
Groups kept coming in waves to the library, where the silent auction was fittingly held. This is one of the early groups - students came back later with parents in tow.
And the bitter? I found out this week (which is ironically Teacher Apprecation Week) that there are plans to cut art program at the middle school if Ms. Perkins does not return to school next year, which is most likely the case. Instead, all sixth grade students will have an extra period of math and seventh and eighth graders will have one less elective to choose from. Additionally, because of new state 'requirements', students must now choose between band and P.E., as P.E. is no longer required to the degree it used to be.
I am frustrated on so many levels. Why, if obesity is such a problem in America, are we not requiring physical activity during the day? This is a wonderful opportunity to teach kids the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Instead we send a different message - choose athleticism or creativity. I know this is above administration at this particular school - this is a new state requirement. I am frustrated that TAKS scores are valued above teaching kids to think creatively and develop their problem-solving skills - that we tell them memorizing facts and formulas and curriculum is more important than being able to develop and communicate new ideas. As my soon-to-be mother-in-law said, "...soon we'll all just be robots without a creative idea in our heads." I really hope, for the kids' sake, that they re-think their dismissal of the art program. Additionally, the high school that the students will be attending in the next few years has an outstanding art program that is annually recognized at state-level competitions... why cut the roots of that program when they need to be nourished?