Art classes struggle to create and connect

Art classes have had to find creative ways to cope with distance learning. From an absence of materials, to not having the opportunity to get to know students and to even go as far as changing the curriculum, art classes have had a few changes this year. 

“I’m teaching a completely different class. I don’t think it is a bad change for me because it has reawakened some of my other artistic interests and I will probably keep some of the lessons when we do go back to normal,” ceramics teacher Jennifer Jervis explained.

Ceramics is a very hands on class that requires a lot of materials and equipment that many students do not generally have laying around their house. Jervis has told us that she depends a lot more on drawing and trying to connect pen and paper to clay. It has definitely been a struggle for her to dream up new lessons when she has been using the same ones for many years, but distance learning has given her the opportunity to expand her mind and see ceramics in a different way.

However, art teachers are working hard to create a way for students to get their hands dirtier and take the class that they signed up for last year. Supply distributions have allowed for students to get more materials and create more art. But they are not ideal.

“In distance learning I no longer have a ton of art supplies at the ready. There have been many times when I’m working on a project where I run out of certain art supplies and I suddenly need to stop what I’m doing to go to the store or go to a supply pickup,” said Kristina Huajardo, AP art student. 

It is hard for students to get the work that they need done when there are many obstacles that they have to overcome. There are also many problems with supply distributions, and the main one being that there is no guarantee that students will take the initiative to get what they need.

“You put the word out ‘Come pick up your supplies’ and that doesn’t guarantee that they will come,” art teacher Alexis Knudsen said. 

Knudsen described a number of issues that have happened this year, regarding students and the lack of normal attention that they would normally receive from their teachers. Without seeing them every day, it is a lot harder for teachers to gauge what their students need from them and how they can help. 

Students and teachers miss the bonds they normally make in class this year. 

“Part of the reason we’re teachers is because we enjoy the interpersonal relationships with students. Art is prospective, and getting to know them through their artwork is something very special in art class and we don’t really get to experience that right now,” Jervis said. 

“There’s also something about being in a room of people who all have the same interest that’s hard to feel when you’re alone at home,” said AP art student Jasmine Law. 

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