Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. ~Twyla Tharp

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Things That Break My Heart

Last week, I made these Lorax clay pots with my EC self-contained class.

I know that they are not particularly arty but I like to do things with this class that are in the moment.  I try to plan things that go along with what they are doing in their classroom or revolve around holidays and happenings, which I almost never do with my other classes.  Since Earth Day is tomorrow, I thought these would be fun to make. Tomorrow, we will fill them with soil and plant zinnia seeds while we watch The Lorax (the original, animated short one).  They will take them back to their classroom, put them in a sunny window, already prepared by their amazing teacher and hopefully, will have some truffula flowers growing shortly.

Why does this break my heart?  Because in the past week, students from my 'regular' classes have been looking at these little clay pots asking me, 'Are we gonna make these?' to which I have had to say 'No' which always gets met by a 'Why not?' I hate to tell them that I can't afford to buy already made clay pots (or clay to use in my kiln or glaze or so many other things) for my 100+ students that I am teaching this quarter or felt and googly eyeballs and pom poms so that they can make the Lorax pots, but I can afford it for the 12 or so kids in Mrs. P's class.  Sigh.  It makes me feel guilty but most of all it breaks my heart.  To tell them no.  Even though it's not my job to do cutesy stuff with them, it's not in my standards for sure, I know they like to to do craftsy stuff.  They probably don't ever get a chance to do things like this.  Budgets, or the lack thereof really stink.  Art is consumable.  And we consume a lot.  I recycle, I beg borrow and steal.  Well, I don't steal but you know what I mean.  It's rough to be an art teacher with about $1.50 a kid to spend on supplies. 

Which means, I guess, that maybe we will do some origami these next few weeks (only about 4 before we start testing) and that I will be breaking out the solar beads and cotton kitchen string to make solar bead bracelets (always popular) again this year.  And I'll be trying desperately to justify this with the common core, somehow.  Of course, I will just be wishing that I could afford to buy a bunch of para-cord and clippies for those bracelets as well.  Sigh.

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