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Teaching and Doing Art With Children and Kids
Me a Teacher? You're Out Of Your Mind!
I recently began teaching art to children, and I have to say it has absolutely got to be one of the most joyful "jobs" I have ever had. Having a long background in art, and in raising kids, I suppose this was a natural thing for me to do - but months ago if you had said I would be an art teacher I would have told you were out of your mind!
Not because I don't like kids, mind you, because I do - I just never thought that I would "fit" the title of teacher. Especially teaching art.
The reason being is that because I have my own exacting ways of doing art, and I could never really imagine myself trying to teach my brand of art to children.
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If You Dream, You Can Draw!
All that changed however when I was hired by a company called "Kidzart", which is actually a world-wide franchise. Kidzart teachers teach art in schools in after school programs to kids that want to do art. Parents sign their kids up for classes, and every week a new project is done. Primarily a drawing program, Kidzart classes teach children basic fundamentals of art from a drawing perspective using many mediums like oil pastels, watercolors, marking pens, crayons clay, chalk, copper foil just to name a few.
One of the best things however about Kidzart is the "rules". Never being one for too many rules myself - I love the Kidzart philosophy- that art should be fun!
The only rules?
1. Please work quietly (after all I'm sure Da Vinci had quiet, right?)
2. It does not have to be perfect (Should'nt we all take that one to heart huh?)
and the last and best rule of all....
3. Have Fun!!!
Teaching Art To Children
These 3 simple rules have revolutionized the way I view art now. Being the kid that had to have everything perfect growing up, I can appreciate the fact now that art is not perfect!! All art is subject to interpretation, and mistakes can sometimes be the catalyst for much greater things! Like I tell my kids when teaching them art - no one will have the same drawing, no ones will look just their neighbors- and no ones will be perfect because there is no such thing as "perfect" in art!
When teaching any child in art, whether at home or in class, keep in mind that what they see and what you see are 2 different things! Never scold a child for not doing art a certain way or not doing it the way you think it should be done.
Instead encourage them to use their imagination and creativity when doing art, let them explore with different mediums and see which ones they gravitate towards, and most importantly, have fun with them!
You never know, you may be teaching the next Monet or Rembrandt!
(Dorsi Diaz is a freelance writer and blogger in the San Francisco Bay Area)
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