Secrets of Arts Education in the 21st Century

Why Should You Care What I Think?

You really shouldn’t care what I think unless it sparks your imagination.  Ivy League degrees, letters after a name, celebrity, and wealth are often the measures used to assess a thinker’s worthiness.  The real measurement, however, is whether the thought resonates or even creates enough dissonance to get your blood boiling.  I have no reason you should read my blog. Perhaps you care about education, creativity, or… the future.  Otherwise, you should ignore me.

My name is SallyA.  I’m a teacher, mom, musician, actor, director, author and lover of the arts.  I am confident there is the potential for art and beauty in all things: the cook who lovingly plates a meal, the mom who arranges her daughter’s hair in thoughtful braids, the engineer who stays up late because the CAD program is so much fun.  There are things in life we do because we feel responsible for managing the mechanics of living: We want to be clean, fed, and organized. But these are all things we do to maintain our lives. We go to school to learn how to earn. We earn our incomes not for the purpose of having small green presidential portraits in our pockets, but in order to have the experience of abundance, freedom, and power.

What if we bypassed the money conversation in favor of a richer conversation for the quality of our lives? Let’s enjoy life now by exploring the ideas about which we are curious, inventing things from our own imaginations, and connecting with people whose ideas we find invigorating? We can do all of that through learning.  There is amazing power in education, especially when we are inspired by the subjects, and by our students.  I am fortunate to teach arts in a school that does not require a grade for my subject. I do, however, encourage peer and self-assessments in a growth model. And, because I think assessments have value, I am ever ready with my own opinions regarding student efforts and outcomes.

If you want a reason to care what I think, I have over three decades of teaching experience, three amazing, well-educated kids on their own exciting adult adventures, and I still love teaching middle school students about the arts (and just about anything else I find interesting). For me, teaching is less about being the “sage on the stage” and more about exploring the unknown with my students. If I am open to learning something new, my students can be my lab partners and we can explore the unknown together.

Comments on: "Why Should You Care What I Think?" (5)

  1. Well said! There is certainly a shift in how we evaluate human potential, worth, and the value of things. You are that teacher than changes lives. Keep up the amazing/creative work/art!

  2. Well said! Very inspiring 🙂

  3. Wish there were more teachers out there like you. My kids (11 and 9) attend one of the “country’s most acclaimed public school district” but if not for great teachers who genuinely care, that phrase is little more than marketing fluff. Hooray for you!

  4. You might be one of my new favorite people, ever. I don’t even know you but I feel like we could be great friends. 😀 We share so many similar ideas.

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