I didn't know what to expect last week when I planned and taught a new challenge about original symbols. I hoped that my Art 1 classes of mostly freshman would leave the experience knowing a bit more about how to avoid trite symbols. I did not expect that so much of the work would be deeply personal, or that kids would be so open with their peers as they presented the work.
I was struck by how much of themselves my kids put into these works and how honest they were. Sharing their art in presentations was a powerful way to end the experience and it allowed them to connect with each other. Sometimes it's easy for me to forget all the serious issues that high school students deal with daily. I wonder how much they never share with anyone.
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.