If you have been reading my posts you will know of my concern with the loss of creativity and innovation among our school children. With all the focus and pressure to obtain the goals for the federal and state standardized tests I’m wondering if we want all our children to be the same. Are there standards for music, arts, drama, etc…?
Last Sunday (Mothers Day) while I was working on my mother in law’s computer I had a chance to see and hear my young nieces and nephew (ages 5- 11) playing in the backyard. As I listened and watched them play I had forgotten how much fun kids have when they are left alone to play, explore and make up games as they go. No adults standing over them to make sure they throw the ball correctly or play the game according to the rules. No “standards” were posted or enforced except to be safe. It was just Erica, Tracy, Morgan, Monica, Kristine (also my god daughter) and Brian having fun.
When I think of the well-known inventors, artists, authors, etc… most of them were different, they had a passion for what they were doing and I bet they also had fun! They were not part of the status quo based on “Standards” that are supposedly good for all of us. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not for throwing away the standard testing completely, I’m just not willing to do it at the expense of sub-optimizing the creative talents of the children.
Just before the get together was ending my sister-in-law came in and showed a web-site that displayed the artwork Tracy had done at school, being in fourth grade (age 9) I was amazed at her talent (I was discouraged from being an artist in the first grade, the Nun did not like my coloring and stuck me under her desk and kicked me periodically during the day, it was the end of my art career, but I did do well blocking kicks on the football team).
Most of all I applaud Tracy’s teacher and parents for giving her the freedom and encouragement to be creative and innovative.
Now, Come on say with me; don't say "No." Tracy never let go!
To see more of Tracy’s art go to:
While at the library today I saw some more great Art that I wanted to share. Self portraits are my favorites. I understand this 9th grader (Rachel) is also an outstanding student.
Nice job Ms. Karen Zurakowski for promoting your students creative side.
Sarah Smiles & Plays
Sarah sure does smile in this picture, that's because in just 9 months she has learned to read music and play in a duet at the spring concert. Hard work and practice at what you love to do creates a warm smile and soft music on a warm spring night at Cedar Lake in Oscoda, Michigan.