Hi. I am Mr. Ralph, your Student’s art studio instructor, and I want to tell you how excited I am to teach your student during the 2021-2022 school year. Because I am the art studio instructor, I will be guiding your student on a creative voyage. I will be able to see sides of their personality that the regular classroom teacher may never see. I will witness them create solutions to problems rather than regurgitate rote answers. I will watch your student struggle with tough concepts and we will celebrate their mastery. It will be amazing!
What Can You Do to Help Your Student Succeed in Art Class? A Few Suggestions:
1. Please don’t tell your child, “I can’t even draw a stick figure” or “I was never good at art.”
The truth is you can draw a stick figure. You can draw more than you give yourself credit for. I am sorry that somewhere on your creative voyage someone made you feel less than confident in your abilities. Please don’t do the same to your child.
2. Please don’t expect your son or daughter to have a 100% in art class because “it’s just art class.”
Art is work. Art is hard work. It might be harder than math or science because there are no right answers. This is a special class where your child has to create the solution. When report cards come out remember that a 100% in art class would be near perfection. Though I do grade on effort other than profficency, Please don’t look for a number on a report card to reflect the success or enjoyment your child experiences in the art room.
3. Please remember that I am human also.
I work with 400 students a week. Each of them is special to me and I try to do my best for each of them, every day, of every week. I make mistakes. I get overwhelmed. I have the same laundry and grocery shopping that you have and it is a juggling act to keep everything going. When life lifts its ugly head and it preempts the grading of your student’s art project, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to give your son or daughter prompt and thorough feedback, it’s just that my family deserved my attention as well.
4. Please ask your child about what we are learning.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to teach you something. You never know what you may discover about yourself when you open a box of crayons or color pencils and create something with your student.
5. Please don’t toss the year-end portfolio of your child’s artwork in the trash.
I understand that you can’t possibly keep everything. Trust me, I know, but I also know that when your student sees you discard their work, it makes them feel like their ideas and hard work just aren’t good enough. Take a minute to look at the images, have your student save their favorite one or two. Save your favorite one and talk to them about why we can’t save everything. This simple act goes a long way to boost their confidence in their ability to be an artist.
6. Please treat art class with the same respect as any other class.
Don’t downplay the value of art or art class. Artists play a part in the design of everything you use throughout the day. From your morning coffee cup to your new outfit, from your house to your office building, an artist made all those things or, at least, made them better. The chances are pretty good your child will be employed in a creative field and the skills they learn in art class will help them succeed. Meeting deadlines, research, planning, and dedication to the task are all non-art skills reinforced in art class and used daily in the workforce.
Thank you for your time in reading this. I truly am excited for the upcoming year and I am looking forward to the creative solutions your son or daughter will share with me. As the year goes on, please feel free to stop by the art room to see what we are doing at any time.
– Mr. Ralph
I often send emails to praise students or to inform parents of certain behaviour problems we may be having in class. Please make sure the district, school and teachers have your current information. please feel free to fill out the Parent Contact Form located here.