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working with kids

updated sun 12 oct 08


Nancy Jonnum on sat 11 oct 08

Wow! I'm glad I brought up this subject. First of all, thank you to
everyone who has responded to my question. You have given me some
good ideas to work with.

Nils Lou and others found fault with our project because it was too
adult-controlled and did not allow for enough creativity. Of course
you are absolutely right. It is a discussion we have been having all
along. The situation is that our school had a part-time art teacher
for many years. She was wonderful! She taught a full program that
included art appreciation and lots of creativity. A few years ago
the program was discontinued because of budget problems. Now we have
a volunteer art coordinator (who also has two babies under the age
of two). Local artists visit the school to teach or guide the
children through various projects. It is not the same at all, but I
hope that it is better than nothing. My husband and I are only going
to the school several times during the months of October and
November. We realize that this is not ideal. Our goal is to show the
kids one way to make a mural--that's it.

About chaos... I think chaos is fine if it means that the kids are
all banging on the clay or wildly glazing flowers or painting
pictures or making chalk designs on sidewalks. I don' t think it is
okay if they have nothing to do so they are taking punches at each
other, arguing or running around. I guess controlled chaos is fine,
wasting class time is not.

In defense of our school let me say that we live in a beautiful,
artistic community. The school is very small and it is a rich
environment for kids. But this little mosaic project is just what it
is, a mosaic project. Maybe someday our economy and priorities will