Monday, January 30, 2012

Fighting A Losing Battle

Something that is CONSTANTLY in issue with my young artists is instilling in them the confidence to create without boundaries. So many of them are scared to just draw, and express without the fear of messing up or making things perfect. Many of them are just plain lazy though. I try my best to bring in projects that will broaden then and force them to try something new; I never want to set them up for failure with something that is too difficult or out of there skill set, but what I'm really asking is for them to just TRY.

Tonight was a night where I just felt completely defeated in that. Not necessarily by my students, but by the adults that I had in the room to help. I expect my students to push back a bit and say things like, "this is too hard", "can you just draw it for me", "I don't know what to do", and "I need another paper, I messed up". Those are totally normal things for me to hear. But tonight, after hearing just a small amount of that from the kids, I had an adult come up to me and say, "well why didn't you just bring something for them to trace, that would have saved you a lot of time". NOPE. That would have been exponentially more work for me, especially because I only get paid for the time that I'm with the students, not for the hours I put in preparing for my classes. It completely defeats the purpose to just give the kids something to trace, because then they aren't learning anything at all! The hardest thing was that after only minimal fight from the students I looked around the room and saw a majority of my helpers just drawing on the students papers for them, without much I could do to stop them. Why can't we just encourage them? Show them that they are capable? Not give them the easy way out? These kids need to be PUSHED and I know that this hour of art is supposed to be their fun time, but it makes no sense for them to just produce cookie-cutter traced pictures. They can do that at home.

I guess that I can take pride in the few students I have that really do try, and that love to make interesting and new things. Still its easy to get dragged down in the negative and it feels like I am consistently losing this battle of impacting my students because of the laziness of others. Now I guess I'm the one that needs to keep trying...

Some of the more interesting, uninterrupted vase drawings from tonights class... soon to become VanGogh sunflowers 


  1. You should look at the "beautiful losers" book or documentary. It's really great modern/ folk art and inspires kids because it harkens back to that intuitive creativity. Might be a fun project for them to make a salon wall or mural!


    you're doin a great job girl. I love your teaching style


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