Friday, July 10, 2015

Art Can

Make a Difference!

Before school let out for the summer (a whole week and a half ago (June 29th for teachers!)) our assistant principal presented the staff with a challenge: decorate a bulletin board for the new school year and you could win cash money. We could have our students do it, have our clubs do it; it could be for a department or an organization. It's not like we had anything else going on...

We are the Art Department. I felt the need to participate and show off our skills despite the fact that we had finals to grade, rooms to clean and supply orders to fill. Plus, $$$. 
I found this on Pinterest and with some modifications, made it fit our school and school motto. Thank you Salem Public Schools!

But this little can with a powerful message would have been swallowed by the surrounding white space of the bulletin board. Our awesome long term sub realized this too and asked if she could paint our faces a la Warhol in the remaining space....
Sure, why not?

And that is just it.
Many teachers leave the building, having to pass this space. They were able to see the progress over two or three days and it got people talking. I even got an email from a teacher I hardly know in the English Department, letting me know that Art really does make a difference and thank you for your excellent work. (There are over 100 people on staff, so to be fair I only know a handful, but how cool!?).

Recently the Art of Education posted 7 Things to Know as a New High School Art Teacher. The first thing Timothy Bogatz wrote was "be yourself." That is so, so true. Now, new and old students will see our bright, shining faces and hopefully feel welcome in our art, photography and drama rooms. I can't help but laugh every time I round the corner and see my co-workers face reflected in the windows of the drama room. It is awesome.

And we did win.
First prize and the cash money went right to Art Club!
But for me, the real prize is that people witnessed us working as a team and are now talking about the Art Department like they never have before.

My summer vacation has hardly started, but I am so pumped for the 2015/2016 school year now!
Hopefully see you at the Art of Education Summer Conference next week. #aoeconference