This week has been absolutely wonderful! In fact, it has been the most enjoyable week of my ten year teaching career. We put our regular social studies lessons on hold while we worked on our Budding Artist project. Back in December I requested art supplies through DonorsChoose and this week we finally got to use them! I had been looking forward to this week since December! I could not wait to see what my students would create.
So this week we painted. It has been incredible to see what my students have come up with, but what I have enjoyed even more is getting to know them. So many stories were shared this week that would not have been shared if we had been working on regular school work. I intentionally created a very relaxed space outside of our regular classroom to make it feel less like school. We listened to music, we laughed and we joked around. I was nice to be able to take the time to play and create. While it did take time away from our regular lesson plans, what was gained was well worth the sacrifice of two class periods. I don’t mean to sound too sappy, but we bonded.
None of this would have been possible without the wonderful people who supported my DononsChoose project. By giving money to this project they sent the message to my students that they matter. Each painting will be hung up in the hallway of our school and each one will be dedicated to a specific donor. Each student made a handprint which will be displayed in the hallway with a description of the project and a sign that reads “Each of these students had a hand in this project.” Because of this project my students feel like they have some ownership in their school. They are very proud of their work and I am SUPER proud of them!