Saturday, March 6, 2010

Proud Mom

The title of this post is a bit would think that I would be using this to brag about my own children - as if I don't do that enough.  In fact, I'm using it to brag about other people's children.  I know that I often talk about the difficulties of dealing with impossible teenagers and the trials that they get sheer joy out of putting me through, but the truth is that I wouldn't want to have any other job.  I thought I wanted to teach in higher education, and maybe someday I will, but right now I am right where I want to be.....which leads me to other people's children.
Caution: extreme bragging beyond this point.
This last week we entered the all-conference art show/competition like we are required to do every year.  It is always a priority for the other art teachers and me because we were told that it is supposed to be a priority over every other art show we do (by administrators).  In the past it has been really hard for me to get into it.  Our students have always done well at it, but the truth is that it was my least favorite show.  First of all, it was at the city's public library.  I am a lover of libraries, but having to walk through 10+ homeless people to get to the front entrance, and then to see the artwork from eight different schools velcro-ed onto a couple of display boards really dashed our spirits. This year the show was at a beautiful, huge art gallery.  The students actually got to frame their work.  We even had a new printer and were able to print of some of their digital illustrations and prints off on large format paper.  Everything about it was beautiful.  One of my favorite things about the show was that so many students showed up to the artist reception on Thursday night.  They weren't required to come, but they came.  They brought their parents and even their friends.  They introduced their art teachers to their parents, grandparents, and even boyfriends/girlfriends.   Worlds collided....Okay, that may be a bit dramatic, but they were so proud, which made me so proud. 
This all isn't even the best part though.  I have been holding this in for days.  I wanted to bust into the school on Friday and enter every administrator's office bragging about our students.  I wanted to put on the announcements how our students tore apart the competition.  I wanted to call up each coach and tell them how awesome our artists did - many of which are also athletes.  I wanted to knock on the door of every parent who voted against the referendum last year because it focused too much on the arts (which is not really at all).  I wanted to go to the elementary school board who refuse to provide art for their students because it just isn't necessary.  Basically, I wanted everyone to know how great our students were......but I didn't.  I held it in until now.  I figured no administrators or parents or other teachers read my blog so I'm safe to do all of my bragging here, and remain humble on the surface when I go back to school on Monday.
To make a really long story just a little bit shorter.....we rocked the house on Thursday night.  Every school can only submit 26 pieces to the show, and there are eight schools.  Our students took home a total of 12 honorable mention and merit awards that night.  The only other school that came close is twice our size and took home 5.  Two students also took home both Best of Show awards - in 2-d and 3-d.  To sum it up, they were awesome.  And that night they were also gracious and polite.  Now, I could go into much more detail as to why each individual student that won was its own little victory for them, but I won't.  I guess that is between them and me.  I just hope they know someday how proud I am of all of them.  All of their art teachers are proud.  All three of us were shining for them on Thursday night.  The only downside was that we were one of the only schools without an administrator there.  Maybe someday I'll figure out a way to get them interested since the emails and invitations didn't work.  Maybe the big write-up in the paper that comes out next week will get them a little more interested. :)