A teacher my son had said this to him about the art project he had just completed. A teacher who was supposed to bring out the best in him. A teacher whose very job is to inspire and empower all students. And so, his mind began to turn, "Was it really good or just good for a boy's effort? I am a middle school art teacher. When you train to for this profession, you are told that there are thousands of ways to praise. There is no room in art to undermine the creation, revision, polishing, and perseverance it takes to express oneself in art. In a subject where we think outside of the box, … [Read more...]
At times I would just stare at the clock and wonder why the day was going so slow. I had already dealt with five major meltdowns from my 2-year-old since my wife had left for work, and the baby wasn't following her usual schedule either. The "me" time I would spend in the morning at our local YMCA suddenly seemed impossible and I often knew that there would be days where I would never leave the house. Dealing with a child in the "terrible twos" is a daunting task. I would think to myself, "If only I can fast forward to the threes, then we will be out of the woods." Well, that wasn't true … [Read more...]
The greatest tool you can use to help your children grow is something they can't cram for to pass a standardized test. It’s creativity.
Creativity affects the way we learn and grow. It can be applied to any subject and teaches us that, even within rigid structures, you can find freedom of movement to make something new. And creativity is heavily employed and deepened in others by exposure to art, music and literature -- the fine arts.
Show children a painting and ask them to tell you what it is … [Read more...]
Every Christmas growing up, for as long as I can remember, our entire family would attend a The Nutcracker ballet together. We would get dressed up and, my dad's three brothers and their families also along, head into downtown Chicago to watch some Christmas magic. As I kid, I really didn't enjoy this. I had to wear dress pants and most likely some God-awful itchy sweater that my mom loved. However, what I did like was that we went as a big group to somewhere special. That was our time together. We haven't done this in forever. With us kids grown up and with families of our own, the … [Read more...]
My 5-year-old daughter and I had just buckled into the car, headed home after a morning playground adventure in Philadelphia, when the questions started flowing. After we go somewhere, I like to talk to her about what we just did and ask her about her favorite and least favorite parts. Call it an exit interview of sorts that helps me learn more about who she is becoming and help me be a better parent for her. I began with the highlight of the day and worked my way toward what she didn't enjoy, which is when she gleefully screamed "NOTHING!" and pumped her arms into the air. Then there … [Read more...]