April 18, 2019
How to Be an Ally to Your LGBTQ+ Students

How to Be an Ally to Your LGBTQ+ Students

School is often the first place children learn insults that describe the LGBTQ+ community. When these insults and slurs are used in the classroom, often the only repercussions students receive from teachers is a warning. On the flip side, the victims are comforted with the “sticks and stones” adage. Teachers rarely confront the assumption that being gay or lesbian is an insult. And therefore, students fail to make a connection between the insults they use and the real-life individuals those insults describe. The reality is our LGBTQ+ students need us to do better. Bullying is an issue state legislatures and educators have worked on to protect students at school. However, homophobia and LGBTQ+ discrimination have not shared the same attention. Research shows that school is often a hostile place for LGBTQ+ students. 7 out of 10 LGBTQ+ students experience victimization at school for who they are. Harassment and victimization can […]
April 23, 2019
Are Art Competitions Really Worth It?

Are Art Competitions Really Worth It?

“Hey, do you know where my drawing went?” asked my star-student in a barely concerned tone. My head spun and a million questions rushed into my mind with frustration. How could they not know? Don’t they remember? I told them a week ago about that art competition they were going to enter. I even matted the piece for them. Drove it to the competition. They won a silver medal; I told them how proud I was of them. But rather than show my crazy, I simply reminded them of the competition and the upcoming opening they should attend in a few days. They responded, “Oh, I don’t think I’m going to go. I’m busy.” As a high school art teacher and arts administrator, I see the same routine over and over: Teachers spending countless hours contributing to art shows with minimal engagement from the majority of students. Before we continue […]