This is the second year that I have run a 100% choice art room. One of the unforeseen benefits has been it’s created a much better end to my school year.
For the most part, most students still come into the art room just as enthusiastically as in the beginning of the year. And despite the fact that supplies have run out or are running low and that projects have to be scaled back because of the lack of time, they feel disappointed that their time to create and explore their ideas freely is in our studio space is running out.
Even with just days left, students still make discoveries, learn new ways of artmaking, try new materials, have rich collaborations, and most importantly make art that matters to them and that reflects their voices and experiences. We even discuss possible ideas for when they return in the fall.
The end of the year has always been hard for me. Choice hasn’t changed this entirely. I still struggle but by offering choice, I do feel that every last minute that I have with my students has the potential to be meaningful, impactful and even great. There is no more busy work, no more struggle to “just fill the time” and most importantly no more wasted opportunity to have a positive impact on my students.