The photo above was written on a chalk board by my 13 year old sister at my senior show for Marywood University. There were so many supportive and enthusiastic people there to support their artists and well…art in general! It was such a humbling and proud feeling to see that people really do care about the talents that we have and assets we can provide to the community, society, and the world.
Now…my fancy dress and name tag have been traded for job applications and dress pants. It was kind of scary and kind of exciting when I started applying for actual teaching jobs, but something unsettling kind of came into play that I really feel needs to be discussed. My dream has always been to work among students in an art class that you know wholeheartedly WANT to be there; a school for the arts perhaps. Well, I recently found one and got to work making sure they knew how excited and passionate I was about my field and that I hope one day to share what I have with their school district. And now for the most important point of this post…
When researching this school, and others like it, I noticed that they are not just in need of art and music teachers but Math, English and Bio as well. Hmm…so my thought process at this point was, why exactly does an art school need general subjects when public and private schools around the country are cutting art programs from their curriculum? If roles were reversed and this particular school cut Biology, there would be an utter uproar; and with good reason. However, I do not think that there should be such a gap in importance where subjects are concerned. It saddens me to see that Art is not held to the same standard as other core subjects. Being surrounded by supportive and excited people, celebrating the accomplishments of hard working students, is the same whether it is for an art exhibit, a science fair, or a math competition. Each displays the well-rounded individuals that our schools produce and send out into the world ready to do something amazing.
All in all, we need to stand by each other, our teachers, and students; giving them the choice to pursue what they want to pursue and maintain the resources and faculty they need to succeed in that endeavor.