Mixed Messages

One trend I’ve noticed is the mixed messages some schools send–on one hand, we’re supposed to teach the kids about proper nutrtition and food choices. But when I get to the cafeteria and see what’s being offered, like pizza, canned corn, and chocolate milk, it makes me wonder.

Another thing is the recycling issue. I’m sure I’ve seen an entire forest full of trees that have died due to so many kids’ balling up and throwing away paper in wastebaskets like more will magically reappear. 

Ruled paper is a commodity that is shown by who has the most sheets sometimes. Also, too many students have this false notion about perfectionism, and rather than use erasers, they just chuck it all, and throw thatt paper away.  Whenever I’ve been in a class, I try to get kids to conserve paper by letting them know that it’s OK to make a mistake, and then I personally collect paper to put in the blue recycling wastebaskets that are placed in the rooms. However, because teachers are so bogged own with so much other stuff,
on-hands recycling is not on the high list.

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2 responses to “Mixed Messages

  1. I am an elementary art teacher and I also see such waste! I see it in the cafeteria — by the way — there are many classrooms who have worked with their local gardening groups to teach composting to students (and the cafeteria managers) who then composte veggie waste at their schools and grow healthy gardens.

    Some schools (who have insightful principals) have recycling programs for bottles, paper, etc. But it has to be presented as both curricular related, and cost saving!

    On the paper end of things… as an art teacher, that one REALLY bothers me! Kids make one mark and give up, crumpling up the page (without using the back even!). I have 3 major paper resource rules: 1) draw LIGHTLY so you can erase, 2) use BOTH sides of the paper, 3) ask for my help BEFORE you crumple up the paper–(you must keep your “messed up page” next to you so you can SEE your mistakes in order to not make them again)!

    And I teach that ERASERS are your FRIEND! They are a TOOL, just like a pencil! I make them color in a large rectangle with the side of a pencil, then use their eraser to make “draw” an image. That little project usually results in amazement.

    And — I teach the following…

    Drawing is essentially an exercise in moving line(s) around a page… thoughtfully assembling straight, curved and bent lines to build, shape and create – either a design or an image.

    If you can write your name, then you CAN draw. It is about eye hand coordination and the ability to control your pencil, making the mark “go” where you want it to go.

    Just like when you first learned to write (as a 5 year old), you practiced adding lines together to make letters—AND with “DRAWING” one practices adding lines together to make an image. Drawing is all addition and subtraction of straight, diagonal and curved lines… by editing, changing, integrating lines of different lengths, diagonals and curves you construct shapes. Eventually, those shapes and lines together sum up to reveal an image. Thus, it’s best to use a pencil and have a BIG eraser – just begin with the awareness that you WILL be making changes, adding, subtracting and modifying, as you go along!

    • I’m so sorry to be tardy in replying, but I agree with your comments 100%,and thank you for posting! Please check back on my blog, as I’ll be updating all summer, and feel free to tell your friends and colleagues about the blog. Much appreciated–Got2care

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