The education world, the Arts included, has been given a daunting task for the foreseeable future – continue to educate our students remotely. It’s times like this that we must step up to the task with optimism and hope. Yes, there are dozens of inherent challenges to overcome, but we will overcome these challenges by simply returning to our roots: our love of the Arts. If we remain committed to adapting to the situation and committed to advocating for active engagement in Arts Education, we will emerge from the situation successfully.
Our district is no different than other districts across the state – forced to go remote, with our students and teachers at varying levels of readiness for blended learning. Our Arts Education teachers are expanding on their use of technology tools, creating opportunities for students to submit artwork from home. Full ensemble rehearsals will need to modify to individual student practice (maybe even a quartet via video-conferencing), Visual Art projects will need to be completed with alternate supplies (maybe a recycled Art project), and of course, student Film projects will continue, just with new and exciting home locations.
Advocacy still matters, and I will argue more important than ever. Let’s face it, we are looking at remote learning for an extended period of time, and parents will begin questioning the importance of certain subjects and school assignments. We have already fielded parent concerns of balancing Arts Education assignments with other content areas. Let’s use the opportunity to share the great work that our students are doing at home in the Arts! Ask your community to share out on Social Media, what’s happening at home. This is a great opportunity for parents to create Art with their children, ask their children to perform for the parents and siblings, and ask parents and family members to respond to the Arts together.
Remote learning will modify our work, but it can not distract us from our mission – ensuring all students have access to Arts Educations. We will get through this, keep up the good work, and keep advocating for the Arts.