Feedback on Stop Teaching Art

A little while back, I received some really wonderful feedback from a teacher friend of mine. I kept it to share here, and am just getting around to it.

My Repurposed Wedding Dress, Tapestry by Bethany Mallino, art teacher
My Repurposed Wedding Dress, Tapestry by Bethany Mallino, art teacher

The teacher had seen my presentation called Stop Teaching Art. This is what she said:

Just wanted to share a quick story of how your presentation has changed how I advocate for myself and the art program at my school. On a recent morning I attended a leadership team meeting where we were deciding the criteria for end-of-the-year awards for our students. As we were discussing the criteria for specials such as art, music, and physical education, my principal said to me (and the room), “Well some students are just not artistically talented.”

I replied and said, “It does not take natural talent to perform well in Art. I teach them the skills and processes they need to be good artists.” I went on to explain that our program of studies is designed with clear objectives and standards, that students are assessed on these standards, and those who meet them do very well in Art.

She seemed taken aback, but replied, “Okay, well that’s good to know, you are educating me now.”

I just could hear your presentation in my head, “If students are just naturally talented, why do we need teachers? why do we teach what we teach.” So long story short, thanks. Thanks for the grain of inspiration.

If you want to know more about the presentation that inspired this feedback, read about it HERE. I have also just submitted a proposal for the next in the series called Stop Grading Art which you can read about HERE.


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