Part of our“Why Artsonia? Because…” series
Kids love it AND Attitudes are Improving!(3)
Teachers know that the more engaged a student is in an activity, the more likely he/she will be to put the best foot forward. The art room is no different. When an art teacher decides to use Artsonia as a way to showcase the student artwork, he/she soon starts to notice a new buzz around the art room. Suddenly there seems to be a more positive spin on each project. Bad attitudes start to turn around, work ethic begins to improve and students are finding a new sense of pride and self-esteem in their work. What’s the bottom line? Kids love being published artists on Artsonia!
At the heart of of Artsonia’s mission is getting kids to develop a new sense of pride that comes from feeling like a famous artist, deserving of the spotlight and recognition. The various activities such as fan clubs and guestbook comments are actually tools to encourage young people and their creativity. We want personal statements to draw out even more from the artist, getting the visitor one step closer into the thoughts and efforts behind the artwork. Kids need to believe that both what they create and the thought process involved are newsworthy enough to share with visitors. In a recent blog, Sarah Doane, an art teacher in Reading,MA noted how the family activities provided on Artsonia give her students that boost in self-esteem. She writes, “The more family and friends that see a child’s artwork, the more encouraging comments they receive. When this happens, my student’s self-confidence increases and they become even more interested in art! It’s a win for everyone.”
Another way we hope to give students a positive experience through Artsonia is our artist of the week contest. The weekly finalists are not merit-based selections, but randomly chosen from the prior week’s art submissions. Kids are so accustomed to contests about being “the best,” but our contest is about giving everyone who’s brave enough to create a piece of artwork and share it with the world, a chance to win. In some cases, the contest can mean much more, as we were sent this story from a teacher in California. “One of my 6th grade art students was selected for your artist of the week contest. His core teacher told me this morning that he is a new student in our school and is having trouble adjusting. When the teacher called the parent yesterday, she told her that her son has been in tears everyday over going to school. Since he found out that he has been selected for the contest, he now has a positive attitude and is enjoying his celebrity status. Even if he doesn’t win the contest, he’s seeing himself as more of a winner than ever before.”
One last factor that teachers mention in regards to a better work ethic or changed attitude in the art room is good old-fashioned peer pressure. While we didn’t consider this a factor when the Artsonia gallery was being built, we do see where it might come into play. Many teachers feel that the Artsonia gallery puts a little creative peer-pressure on students. Now that the art teacher isn’t the only one who will be looking at the child’s finished work, there’s a little more motivation to succeed. North Carolina art teacher Margaret Moltine seemed to agree with this theory when she said, “I believe that using Artsonia has raised the bar in achievement for my students in that they want to do better work since it will be seen by an unlimited number of people.”
In closing, we thank everyone who takes the time to read these entries and provide your feedback. We hope that everyone who reads this post has an example of how Artsonia has been a positive experience, whether in a school community or in your own family. We would love to hear more stories from you, so please feel free to post a comment or send them along in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.