Growth through vulnerability

My experience at the camp further confirmed my belief in the need to connect with students. A lot of art is made stronger through communication of ideas and information and experience. Not only that, but where students feel safe is where they feel they are most free to express themselves. The camp allowed me to relate to many of the students on a personal level. It was a space where I felt safe to share my stories of my experience as a member of the lgbt+ community. More students than I expected confided their own stories in me. It was incredible to realize these young kids were growing up in a world more accepting and aware than the one I grew up in. At one point, a young girl spoke to me and told me how awesome she thought it was that we were so open and willing to share with them and how much she appreciated it. She told me how it made her want to share her own stories because she was relating to us. It was an amazing feeling knowing that they felt safe sharing their experiences with us. I wish I had that earlier on in my art experience because perhaps I would have had more of a connection with m art early on. I really want to remember the importance of this as I continue in my teaching adventures.

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2 thoughts on “Growth through vulnerability

  1. I also felt like the camp was a great opportunity to practice engaging in challenging conversations with students who were willing and interested in doing so. Moving forward, I realize that one of the greater challenges will be how to do so with all, or at least, most of my students, who aren’t as open or able to share their own personal thoughts and feelings on certain subject matter with me or their peers. I think that here is when it is extremely important to be very attentive to each student’s unique development needs, wants and interests, and to be patient enough to take the time to get to know them, as they feel willing to share themselves with you as their art teacher.

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  2. I think your experience in summer camp is one of the many reasons why art classes are so important to have in schools. Art is where you explore yourself and can learn about others. It brings awareness that you are not alone, that other people experience what you have as well. I have no doubt that you will be the kind, patient, knowledgable teacher that your students need to feel they are in a safe space!

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