Prove Me Wrong

Categories Art, Education, nextgenteachers

WARNING:  I’m either on a high horse or a soapbox grandstanding with an overinflated ego right now.  I’m not always this smug or confrontational (I hope…), but some recent events have led up to this post.  Read at your own risk.

HPIM5128.JPGI do the impossible. Daily.

“He won’t do any work. Just let him sit there.”

“This class will never be controllable when it’s snowing outside.”

“These special ed. students don’t have the hand-eye communication to use scissors.”

Each of these statements is something I’ve been told by a classroom teacher. Each of these statements have been proven wrong.  See that photo?  It was taken by a 2nd grader, then submitted to a juried art show.  It got in.  Don’t tell me photography can’t be taught to 2nd graders.  I could add more examples, but do I need to?

It is a personality flaw quirk of mine to, when I hear something cannot be done in the classroom, see that as a challenge.  Sometimes it turns out the chalenge issuer was right, but more often than not I get to show them what a little effort and guidance can accomplish.  They had given up on those students because they did not think they had the time and/or the energy to accomplish the aforementioned tasks and teach the prescribed curriculum.  Understandable how they got to that point – I’d be there too if I was in their position – but that doesn’t mean I’ll let it stay that way.


When a classroom teacher tells me they’d love to include more art in their lessons, but they just don’t have the time / energy / creativity / inspiration to do that and cover the mandated curriculum….

Challenge issued.

Challenge accepted.

Just don’t keep saying it can’t be done after I prove you wrong.

Aaron Smith is a Media Arts & Technology Teacher who spends most of his time on computers. In his free time he plays video games, edits videos, and misses his wife dearly.

4 thoughts on “Prove Me Wrong

  1. Our daughter won the grand prize in a student show (peK-gr12) when she was three years old. The judge was a curator at a major art museum and went nuts over the work. She was right. It was amazing. She did not have to be taught. In fact, I learned to paint from my daughter. (She also took photographs at that age. They were remarkable. Most revealing were her low-angle shots of family members). Kids are natural artists. I do not agree with those who say schools “teach” them out of their sense of design and creativity. It is part of the maturation process. Creativity loss and awkwardness comes from an excess of judgement. Kids, certainly, must learn from mistakes (as we all do, or the roads would be undrivable), but they must also learn to accept the fact that sometimes “mistakes” are actually new ideas. “Education” means “to lead out of”. It is our duty as educators to protect and lead the unique, valuable adult from each child.
    That said, I taught in the classroom for many years. I also was a Language Development Resource Teacher in the library where I dressed up in costume, told stories, presented puppet shows, and coordinated a child-authored book fair. Those are two VERY different jobs. In the library I could only do those special things when the teacher was there, and classroom teachers reading this will understand why.

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