Miss Kate of our Gr.1 E class shares some very personal insights and emotions with us:
I spent the early part of my childhood in a very small town not so different from Swakopmund (less the ocean and dunes, of course). I was lucky enough, though oblivious to it at the time, to have grown up in a family of art lovers.
It was a trip in the third grade that got my mind spinning in concentric circles over the likes of Kandinsky and Miro. My class was going to spend the day at the internationally renowned Art Institute of Chicago. My mother, a former student of art, would be assisting and would turn out to be my personal guide along the way, opening new doors of understanding in all things art, history and human.
How sad it is to think back and struggle to remember the particulars of the day. I remember Chagall‘s stained glass, and my mother pointing out all of its beautiful religious symbolism, most of which seemed to escape me at the time. I remember seeing Jackson Pollock’s ‘Greyed Rainbow’ and not quite understanding how such a masterpiece could be considered such a, well, masterpiece. But I also recall my first introduction to Impressionism and Pointillism: stepping closer and closer to Georges Seurat’s ‘A Sunday on La Grande Jatte’ only to realize that there was not a single brush stroke on the massive canvas. Instead, miniscule dots of paint could be made out as if pixels on today’s computer screens.
My eyes had been open. Art could tell so many stories and express thoughts and feelings unlike words could.
It is this kind experience that I so enjoy sharing with my grade one class. As adults, we tend not to expect young children to grasp the complexity and symbolism in art; we think of such things as far to mature. However, I do not know any other group of people who can stare at a Mark Rothko painting and become so excited and connected to its colours and their meanings as a group of six and seven year olds!
For young children who are just beginning not only to read and write but to fit into the world outside of their home, finding his or her voice is a daunting task. Art is a wonderful medium through which one can speak and be heard. Who better to teach children this than the artists themselves? Mark Rothko shows us that bright colours can make us feel warm and happy, whilst dark ones can make us feel sad. Pablo Picasso teaches us that there are many sides to each and every one of us by painting mismatched faces.
Art and art appreciation has become a favourite in our class, and it is why we have created our own gallery of sorts on our walls. Understanding artists and their art benefits my students cognitively, academically and emotionally, and, if truth be told, it benefits me as a teacher as well.
I read my grade one class a wonderful story by my favourite children’s author Anthony Browne. It is called ‘The Shape Game’. It is Anthony Browne’s story of how he became an artist and, in turn, a storyteller. It all began with a trip to the art gallery with his mother.
I suppose our class will never make it to the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate or the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but we are not too bothered by this; we have made our own mark a little closer to home.
Martin Luther King Jr about education: ‘The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.‘
Mark Twain explains what we teachers feel about ‘our’ kids at school: ‘My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.’
die resultate van die IEB ‘core skills tests’ (basiese vaardighede); deur ons Gr.6 en Gr.9 leerlinge laasjaar afgelê, is nou beskikbaar!
Ons as onderwysers gee hierdie jaar vir die Matrieks ‘n besondere diens! Al jul portefeulje take in een .xls workbook!
Ons is baie trots op al ons Gr.11e en Matrieks! Dankie vir die inset met die organiseer van die huis sport dag. Dit was ‘n groot sukses!