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May 26, 2008

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Eileen

Great post! Beautiful mosaic. I agree with you 100% So many of my kids (I am a Social Worker in an inner city school) would thrive if more focus was placed on the arts. It would be the hook, to keep them motivated and focused. So many talent kids, end up dropping out. There is something so wrong with our system.

Jennifer H

I don't know how anyone can say No Child Left Behind with any seriousness.

coffeeyogurt

and his little daisy flower -- the petals look broken : (

its nothing short of criminal that each and everyday kids like your student get left behind. i'm sorry about your promising little art student. i bet you made a difference in his life. maybe you can't see it now, but that tile mosaic must have been a bright spot for him.

Bipolarlawyercook

I look at that mosaic and I know that even if he fails over all, he's had two teachers he will remember really cared about him.

MereCat

That is a really good mosaic. I know what you mean by kids that kind of fall through the cracks because of "blanket" teaching philosophy, and I agree, it's a terrible shame that unique talent gets so misguided.

gina

Sounds like now would be a good time to start thinking about a non-profit after school arts progaram- you have the passion, And I couldn't agree more about the importance of art in a child's life!!!

Jason

I hear you, I hear you. It's a real problem that I don't know the solution for. Teachers are asked to do so much, and schools like mine have so many kids that can't even read at all. But the arts most certainly should not be cut away to nearly nothing.

Jamie

OR ... he'll be on Oprah some day saying that because *someone* believed in his abilities, he broke the chain. It only takes one person.


Deb D

I used to be a reading tutor and there were certainly some kids who were already falling through the cracks. it broke my heart.

ms_teacher

We will continue to have high drop out rates until we realize that not every student has the desire to go to a four year college straight out of high school.

I recognize that there are inherent pitfalls in offering occupational programs in high school, by getting rid of them completely, it's akin to throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Great post, btw.

kcinnova

Sadly, the perfect school isn't available --one that teaches strong basics AND has artistic, musical, mechanical, etc., programs.
I still have fond memories of middle school... certainly NOT from the social aspect, but because I enjoyed art, band, wood shop & metal shop. Was I gifted in those areas? Nope. But I was blessed to have the opportunity to explore them.

Domestically Challenged

You are right as usual.

My cousin runs arts programs for inner city schools - the school and the pupils get a lot out of it....and in turn as you suggest - society.

Deb

I hope he can prove us all wrong.

Have you heard of ARTS (http://www.artsurvive.org/mission.php)?
I attended a function there in March (headquarters is in Liberty Station). Maybe it can provide an artistic outlet for him?

Deb

JLO

I teach at an 80% ELL school. You are right...not eveyone is a paper/pencil learner. How lucky they are to have you if even for a little while.

Heidi

There should be room for all of us, not just those who fit into the mold. With a boy who is slightly unusual, this really hits home for me.

Teachers like yourself are incredibly important if we are to have any hope of changing this need for conformity to the norm.

Heidi

MamaBird/SurelyYouNest

Hey! I used to do mosaic projects with my kids as part of the 7th grade humanities curriculum. Such fun... sorry about your worries for your sweet student. I so agree about the need for education that meets the needs of all kids.

Kellan

It breaks my heart too - I am going to hope for the best!

I like the masaic = very nice.

Take are- Kellan

MamaMo

Sorry for the length of this comment, but I couldn't find this on the internet, so I had to type it here:
"Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that never was before and will never be again. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them 'Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the world there is no other child exactly like you. In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another child like you. And look at your body - what a wonder it is! You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you them harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must cherish one another. You must work; we all must work to make this world worthy of its children.' The love of one's country is a natural thing. But why should love stop at the border? We are all leaves of a tree, and the tree is humanity."
Pablo Casals

JCK

I absolutely agree about the havoc that lack of arts funding is doing to our school programs. He will remember you. Yes, he will.

Jules

This is the weirdest thing Jen. I tried to comment in today's post, but I couldn't get to the post screen....... 4 times. SO I'm posting here.

How very horrible to wake up to this. My heart goes out to this family. i can even begin to imagine what is going on in this poor family's mind.

I'm so sorry

Chatty

It's so sad when children have no creative outlets. And it's sad to see talent wasted, because the child obviously has talent.

debbie

Jenn...this brings back such memories...when I was teaching down on the Texas/Mexico border, "those" kids were the only ones I basically taught for the 5 years I was there. What I experienced in those classrooms and the students and what I went through with them, will stay with me forever!! Though I loved my job down there, the stress of it all is part of the reason I "escaped" to japan. I went back to visit friends and ran into some old students a few years ago...for them to say..."Oh, I loved you Ms. Willson" and "Do you remember when we were Romans for a day?" and "I still have your note you wrote me when you left."...those kinds of things are what makes all the bad and sad stuff I went through seem...not so bad and sad anymore.
The schools need teachers like you Jenn...those students need you.

Shelia

Glad you are joining the profession and that you were able to have such a powerful experience with your master teacher. Art is so very important. It's wonderful that you were able to impact this child in this way.

Angie

Breaks my heart, too. Is that why you do what you do? To help a few of "this type" make it? Making a difference one kid at a time?

KEEP BELIEVING

stephanie

Beautifully said. I think we are supremely lucky at our school that we have the freedom to be creative with our teaching, so if I wanted to include a mosaic project in my literature class, so be it. (And what a terrific idea - with delightful results, obviously). But it still doesn't inoculate our students against the rotten influences of real life.

We can hope (against hope) that your time with this kid makes an impression. It's the best we can do at this point.

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