Contributed by Nikki Rucker
When Two Disciplines Intersect
The collaboration between English and Art has always existed historically. However, being able to see that intersection in practice, as an actual class, has been an extremely interesting and dynamic experience. As a writer, literature/grammar teacher, I get to work with an amazing, creative spirit – art teacher Mariana Depetris – as we collectively teach our Creative Expressions class. We get to see how our students interpret the literary word and turn it into something they can physically see. Whether it is a clay tower, a comic book or a concrete poem, our students have full, creative license to express themselves in interesting ways. spaces. While ours may not be a traditional English class or a traditional Art class, our students are learning practical skills such as teamwork, time management, literary analysis, synthesis and how to notice and comprehend very complex patterns in history.
“WE GET TO GO AS HIGH OR AS DEEP AS THE STUDENTS WANT TO GO AND THEY HAVE THE FREEDOM TO TRULY BE THEMSELVES IN OUR COURSE.”Nikki Rucker
Students Are Allowed to be Their Authentic Selves
I can honestly say in the 16 years I have been teaching, this class provides me a true breath of fresh air. It allows students to be their authentic selves and share parts of them they would not be able to share, ordinarily, and show in a regular classroom setting. As the caregivers of this course, we get to draft and guide and make it whatever we want it to be. We get to go as high or as deep as the students want to go and they have the freedom to truly be themselves in our course. Often times, as teachers, we feel we instruct and influence our students so much over the course of a single semester. In this situation, though, it truly is a reciprocal arrangement where our students pour into us as much as we hopefully pour into them.