We understand just how art has become a luxury in most schools. But is it really a luxury or an overlooked necessity?
When I visited a local Memphis school recently I talked with students and teachers. Being that it was a charter school, each person had chosen to be there above the other options. But they all seem to agree on one topic: The school walls are uninspiring.
Students said that they need inspiration. It became apparent to me that students are not excited about their days at school as they walk through halls. The excitement comes from being in specific teachers's classes. Teachers realize that they must fuel students' enthusiasm within their classes for attending school because most schools have not prioritized walls across campuses.
Besides the hallways, I noticed another major area that has an opportunity to encourage students. Students shared with me that they often leave the classroom because, in their words, "learning is hard work." Former educators explained to me that this means students sometimes need time to reset or redirect their minds to learning. They often will take a short trip to the restroom and take a breather. Wouldn't this reset space be pivotal to display messages that add value to a student's learning experience?
Since policies have focused on Math and Reading for the past two decades, we have an opportunity to reignite the desire to learning throughout campuses. The opportunity to display academic messages across campuses are innumerable. If these subjects are the concern of policy makers, I beg to apply gentle pressure. The pressure is to have as many surfaces as possible to display academic messages.