In the middle of one of my classes, my phone rings. I'm told "a news crew is going to be coming to your 1:30 class today." I knew I was going to have a lot thrown at me today, but to have a news crew filming it? One foot in front of the other! So as my class of 40 bilingual first graders shuffle out and I scramble to clean my room for a news crew. . . I think. . .
What does this have to do with art? Absolutely nothing! Why do I do it then?
Because I must've been a HIPPIE in my past life! I dream of a school community with kids taking charge of their own education. In my hippie dream all children's needs are met, creative, nutritional, emotional and academic. Notice academic is last? I think we need to fulfill all the other needs of children first before we can begin to see academic growth. When's the last time you went to school eating a doughnut or (worse) nothing, some soggy green beans and chicken nuggets for lunch and then tried to concentrate in a class with thirty other students? I hope that going to school can be the light in kids day, especially Stella Blue (my baby girl)! The greenhouse that we are working hard for will be the symbol of sunshine in our city school.
***If you're wondering how I and the P.E. teacher have time in our schedules to do this Green Team/Nutrition program here's it is. . . "specials" teachers cover classroom teacher's classes for an extra period during the week for their planning time. So I teach the kids an extra 1/2 hour (in addition to 1 hour of art) to do I what I want with! I also collaborate with a volunteer nutritionist from our local college and my friend the P.E. teacher. It helps to have people who work really well together and WORK! We will go back to special art projects soon but I think it was well worth using this extra time to teach about nutrition. Not to mention fun.