First and foremost: Have any of you ventured out to see “Midnight in Paris” at your local movie theater? If not, you have GOT to run out and see while it is still in theaters. I don’t watch too much T.V., hadn’t seen a promo, and ended up seeing it on a hot day wherein I really just wanted the escape of the heavily AC’d theater. I saw that it was advertised as a typical Woody Allen film about how people relate etc. etc. and had Paris as a very romantic backdrop.
And, well, the film IS all of that with one minor exception. The protagonist, played by Owen Wilson, is a writer who accidentally ends up slipping back into 1920’s Paris. While there he meets Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein (and her partner, Alice), Pablo Picasso, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, and Man Ray. . .For a few minutes he slips further and meets Monet, Degas, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Yeah, I actually gasped out loud when I figured out someone was Dali. It was such a fantastic treat. Please, do go and see it.
And, in another recommendation is a mixed request. This Fall -well in 2 weeks really- I begin my work at my new school. My new school is a very different environment from my homogeneous private school experience. The student body reflects a wide range of diversity culturally, ethnically, and monetarily. Also later this Fall, I will be presenting a workshop at my local Art Education Conference about creating and participating in collaborative online art education communities. As I mull both of these important topics (well, in my life at least), I’m struck by one thought: Our online community doesn’t reflect much diversity other than the fact that all of us art education bloggers live in a variety of different places.
We don’t talk about the challenges of diversity, culture, and various financial issues bring into our classrooms. Well, at least not, as a major theme. And, if I look at myself at the very least, I see a long range of projects that aren’t particularly diverse and do not address the interests and backgrounds of a diverse set of learners.
Knowing the little I do about what my Fall is due to bring, this a is a major issue. It leaves me in a place wherein I am doing research about creating a more diverse set of lesson plans, behavior management etc. etc. When I think about what we can do as bloggers it is simple, we can work more to introduce such hard topics as culture and race into our writing. I don’t mean just introducing lessons that reach out to different cultures (although that is good and I want that too). I mean more writing about how to overcome the challenges we face when we come from a different culture than our students, and what we do to bridge the gap (if one even exists).
The other thing I think we can do as bloggers is to encourage our colleagues to blog as well. We can’t change who we are, what our interest are, and where we teach. And, a vast lot of us, teach in environments that are similar to how we grew up and/or what we relate to. . . I think we need a more present voice of those who teach in environment vastly different than our own. I think that this will help us to grow and it will open our eyes to addressing concerns of which we aren’t even yet aware?
Finally, when I look through my cache of art education bloggers, I would say at least 85% of us have blogs that address the needs -primarily- of the elementary art room. We need to encourage those teaching in older age ranges to participate in this community. I secretly think that the strongest force is elementary because those elementary kiddos finish projects quick and elementary art teachers need a huge battery of projects! 🙂
Does any of this make sense and/or does any of this resonante with you?