Teaching Art: Process or Product? Authentic or Crafty? Right or Wrong?

Melissa Smith Teaching in Early Childhood Leave a Comment

Throughout my teaching career, I have seen various ways to approach art with young children. Before receiving my master’s degree in early childhood education, I received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Concordia University Chicago. Upon graduation, I could not find a full-time job, so I worked part-time teaching junior high Spanish and part-time in a preschool classroom. Needless …

Monday

Strength until Summer

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Most Lutheran teachers are familiar with the story of God’s people wandering in the wilderness for forty years. Their lack of faith and patience caused them to be stuck wandering for an extra thirty-nine years. During this time, the Israelites were upset, exhausted, and ready to be done.

Thursday

Building Up

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What is your school’s building made out of? Many are made of brick or concrete, others from stone or some combination of these materials. Frames, pipes, walls, flooring, and wires also make up the school building you are teaching in today. But that’s not all that your school is made of. More crucial than whatever construction materials were used, a Lutheran school is made up of the children of God.

Wednesday

Immeasurable

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A quick Google search will tell you that the surface area of the Pacific Ocean is nearly sixty-three million, eight-hundred thousand square miles. One of the deepest known parts of the Pacific Ocean is the Mariana Trench, which has been measured at a depth of 36,070 feet—that’s almost seven miles deep! Such a vast ocean is far beyond our comprehension, to say the least. Although technology enables such measurements, our minds can’t imagine such a huge body of water.

Tuesday

Breaking Down Walls

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Have you ever noticed that God likes to break down walls? Through the strength of Samson, God broke down the temple of the Philistines’ false god (Judges 16). To fulfill His promise to the people of Israel, God destroyed the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6). Finally, He broke down the biggest wall of them all—the “wall of hostility” that once separated us from Him.

Monday

Arts and Crafts

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One great thing about teachers is that sometimes we tend to be pretty crafty. From bulletin boards to window displays, teachers sure know how to “brighten up the place.” We also like to involve arts and crafts in our lessons. We have students do drawings, dioramas, posters, 3D models—the list goes on and on. Creativity is something to be encouraged and celebrated, in and out of the classroom. It is good for our students to be artists.

Thursday

Peace Out

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“I just had such a sense of peace.” This is something you may hear someone say after reading a good book while laying out on the beach or listening to the waves roll in to the shore. Peace is an easy thing to feel when you are in a stress-free zone like the beach, the lake, or the spa. When we are stress free and relaxed, we naturally thank God for our peaceful day.

Wednesday

Rejoice Always?

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Consider the following scenario: You are one week away from the biggest field trip of the school year. Half of your students have yet to turn in their permission slips, and they’re due tomorrow. One of your few parent chaperones signed up for the trip just moved to the United States from India this year and speaks little to no English. On top of that, you have a dentist appointment this evening for a potential root canal that conflicts with your child’s soccer practice. There’s no way you can pick your child up, take him or her home, and make it to the dentist on time. Life is sometimes stressful.

Tuesday

Eyes on the Prize

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Have you won many awards in your life? In our society today, there are many opportunities to win awards. Medals and trophies are awarded to excellent sports teams or individual athletes. Prizes of many kinds are awarded to choirs, bands, speech teams, and dance teams. Plaques and other awards are even awarded to us teachers for excellent service in the profession. As a whole, our society likes to give and receive prizes. Winning these prizes means a lot of tireless work and effort on our part, but when we win the prize, we know that it was worth it. Yet these prizes pale in comparison to the prize that awaits us.

Monday

Not Much Has Changed

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In Philippians 2, the apostle Paul writes to the church at Philippi about the state of their generation. The wickedness and sin of their time was in stark contrast to the behavior that he prescribed for the Christian people in this area. When Paul wrote these words to the Philippians, could he have imagined that people would still be reading those words and struggling with the same sins thousands of years later? Life for the Philippians can’t be too similar to life now, at least in regard to clothing, food, technology, resources, daily life, entertainment, and so on. Surely the turmoil and sin that assails our modern world is also very different from the time of the Philippians, right?