Every time I look at this picture I get agitated…
Because it’s not just a horse. It actually represents a long year for my 9 year old daughter in art class. Yes, art class.
My passionate, creative daughter hated art this year because her art teacher never quite understood that art should inspire and excite.
Instead, this teacher was intent on making the kids sit with their hands folded in front them, draw lines as perfect as possible and never think or draw outside the box.
They never experimented with clay or glued bits of different materials to see what gorgeous, unusual creation might develop. Class was structured and tedious. This teacher even painted on children’s own paintings to make them more acceptable, more perfect. At the school’s art show, all the art looked almost identical.
I’m saddened for all the children she did not inspire this year. I’m sure if there is a future famous artist in one of her classes, their passion will persevere. But what about the kid who is struggling, who may have discovered a creative outlet if only she had freed that child’s spirit.
My husband and I even met with her and the vice principal. It was civil. It was polite. And she never got what we were trying to say. But the students have won lots of drawing awards, she pointed out. I’m not sure that’s the purpose of elementary school art, I pointed out.
I told my daughter that this was a lesson is learning to deal with difficult people. That she would meet and have to work with lots of people in her hopefully very long life that weren’t her favorite and it was necessary to learn the skills to get along with them.
Thankfully, my daughter did love her classroom teacher. She was lovely, kind and warm. The kids did projects on the planets and even got to create their own aliens out of recycled materials. There were no rules. Or perfect aliens. Just creative freedom.
This was Dylan’s alien from Neptune…
Dylan’s alien looks like… umm….
Two microphones. Yeah, something like that.
The horse has been put away (per my daughter’s request). But the alien is proudly displayed in our living room. It’s sparkly, bright and an original. Just like my girl.
mama bird notes:
I’m once again working with Luvs and the new season of ABC’s “Bet On Your Baby.” On this entertaining show, families see just how well they know their toddlers (ages 2 to 3 1/2) by predicting their child’s next move in the hopes of earning prize money toward their college fund. A college fund? Damn, I need to get on this show.
I will be live tweeting during “Bet On Your Baby” this Saturday night @ 8pm EST. Please watch along with me and join the conversation! You can find me @mamabirddiaries or look for the hashtag #LuvsBOYB