There are moments when I am astounded by the sincerity and depth of my young art students. Below is a conversation I had yesterday with one of my very young artists who has recently lost a loved one:
Student: "Mrs. E., did I do a good job on my drawing?"
Me: "It looks great! I can tell you are working very hard today."
Student: Do you think _____ would like it?"
Me: "Yes, I think they would be very proud of you."
Student: "Since you're a teacher, can you copy things, like pictures, like make two copies of one picture..."
Me: "Yes, why do you ask?"
Student: "I want to give it to _____. I want to put it on their grave. Can you use the machine to put the plastic stuff on the outside of the drawing? Sometimes it rains really hard outside by the grave, and I want to be able to come by and wipe off the rain drops.
me: Of course.
I was reminded of the theme of the MAEA conference in 2008, "Art Brings Hope, Healing and Change." As an art educator I find my purpose in encouraging students to engage in the process of creating images in an effort to gain a better understanding of their social and natural contexts. My hope is that students will create meaning through this process.
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