Supporting Education http://www.supportingeducation.org All about education, teachers, and those people who lift students up. Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:00:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 54013835 We’ve Got to Deal With the Rural Teacher Shortage http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/18/rural-teacher-shortage/ http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/18/rural-teacher-shortage/#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 15:00:02 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4270 A lot of the dialogue around teacher shortages revolves around urban areas—and particularly, poor urban areas. But the teacher shortage is affecting rural America, too, especially in the South. Rural areas face some unique challenges as compared to urban ones, and approaches that work for urban areas may not work to solve the rural teacher […]

The post We’ve Got to Deal With the Rural Teacher Shortage appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
A lot of the dialogue around teacher shortages revolves around urban areas—and particularly, poor urban areas. But the teacher shortage is affecting rural America, too, especially in the South.

Rural areas face some unique challenges as compared to urban ones, and approaches that work for urban areas may not work to solve the rural teacher shortage.

First of all, small towns usually don’t have a lot of economic opportunities. This means that younger people move to larger cities to start their careers. Thus, many rural school districts have a very small pool of young, educated people who could be teachers and administrators.

Teachers from urban areas aren’t particularly keen to work in the country, either. Social opportunities are typically lacking, and young teachers may fear that they’ll be isolated in a small town. The same problem makes it hard to recruit principals and administrators, too.

Teachers want to feel supported by the administration, and if there isn’t a functional administration, that exacerbates the problems teachers face in rural areas.

Then there’s the wage issue. Many rural areas don’t have a large enough tax base to pay teachers a competitive salary. The typical small-town or ruaral teacher makes almost $12,000 less than their suburban peers.

So, what can rural school districts do to attract teachers?

First, they could address the rural teacher shortage by “growing their own,” so to speak. Districts could encourage kids in their local schools to get an education degree and return “home” to teach. Districts could also partner with universities to offer internships or practicums for education students. Programs like these would allow future teachers to see both the benefits and challenges of teaching in a rural area before they commit to a position.

To help eliminate the rural teacher shortage, school districts need to offer competitive salaries. This is easier said than done because schools are usually paid for by property taxes, and no town wants to see its taxes increase. But that means state governments need to play a role in ensuring that school districts have the resources they need to attract and retain good teachers.

Attracting top talent starts with leadership at the administrative level. Schools with poor administrators are not going to attract qualified teachers, so if there’s dysfunction at the school district level, that needs to be addressed and eliminated.

Finally, we need to actually pay attention to rural areas. Policymakers often focus their research on urban schools, and a lot of the literature on the teacher shortage is based on research done in poor, urban areas. Rural people often feel overlooked, not just in addressing their teacher shortage, but in every way.

What do you think should be done in order to address the rural teacher shortage? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo: Ken Schulze / Shutterstock.com

The post We’ve Got to Deal With the Rural Teacher Shortage appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/18/rural-teacher-shortage/feed/ 0 4270
Learning New (Old) Tricks: Encaustic Painting http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/13/encaustic-painting/ http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/13/encaustic-painting/#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:00:40 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4266 Art school is about expanding your mind—and your repertoire—to include new ways of making art. For printmakers, one of those “new” ways is actually a very old one: encaustic painting, which involves adding colors to heated beeswax before applying it to wood or canvas. The technique is as old as ancient Egypt—and as new as […]

The post Learning New (Old) Tricks: Encaustic Painting appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
Art school is about expanding your mind—and your repertoire—to include new ways of making art. For printmakers, one of those “new” ways is actually a very old one: encaustic painting, which involves adding colors to heated beeswax before applying it to wood or canvas. The technique is as old as ancient Egypt—and as new as the professional artists and students employing it today.

PNCA grad Jenna Reineking, whose installation Reconstructing Deconstructed Constructs appeared as part of PNCA’s MFA exhibit this year, is one example of a young artist who’s taken to this older art. On her website, Reineking notes that her recent art as a printmaker has “steered towards the combination of printmaking and encaustic painting. The ability to suspend my prints behind thin veils of wax allows me to achieve more depth.”

Encaustic painting, or hot wax painting, involves using beeswax and adding colored pigments before applying the whole thing to a surface—usually wood or canvas. Once the wax cools a bit, metal tools and brushes can be used to manipulate the wax, almost like sculpting. The technique was most notably used in the Egyptian Fayum mummy portraits in 100-300 AD and other early icons.

According to the Museum of Encaustic Art, “encaustic is arguably the fastest-growing art medium in the world.”

Of course, this isn’t the sort of technique one can easily pick up without any sort of instruction. That’s why experts such as Shawna Moore and Joanne Mattera are important not only because of their own art but because of the way they are passing on their methods.

Based out of Montana, Shawna Moore’s work focuses on nature, in particular horizons, where the earth meets the sky. Her classes on the encaustic method do more than just teach the basics; fellow artist and student Kellie Day notes that Moore’s workshops encourage students to incorporate their own style into their work as well. “The real magic of encaustics is letting your style flow through those layers of wax, floating up through the surface so all can see it,” Day writes for EmptyEasel.com.

For those seeking more than just hands-on courses, Joanne Mattera offers lectures as well as her book, The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax. A master of the encaustic method, her work can be seen in museums, corporations, and private collections around the world. She’s also the founder of the International Encaustic Conference, which combines both contemporary examples and historical elements of encaustic painting. As if that weren’t enough, Mattera is currently the editor of ProWax Journal, a quarterly digital magazine for professional encaustic painters.

Encaustic painting may have been developed a long time ago, but it continues to live on, thanks to the educators and student artists who are actively embracing it today.

Photo: Butterfly and Teacup, encaustic and mixed media, by Kim McCarthy

The post Learning New (Old) Tricks: Encaustic Painting appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/13/encaustic-painting/feed/ 0 4266
6 Tips for Keeping Your Student Loans On Track http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/11/6-tips-student-loans/ http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/11/6-tips-student-loans/#respond Wed, 11 Oct 2017 15:00:49 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4260 Student loans made it possible for you to go to college, but now that you’ve graduated—or maybe you’re taking some time off—those loans are coming due. Hopefully you’re in a position to be able to make your payments, but even if you’re not, you do have options. Here are my tips on how to keep […]

The post 6 Tips for Keeping Your Student Loans On Track appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
Student loans made it possible for you to go to college, but now that you’ve graduated—or maybe you’re taking some time off—those loans are coming due. Hopefully you’re in a position to be able to make your payments, but even if you’re not, you do have options. Here are my tips on how to keep your student loans under control.

1. Know what loans you have

It can be hard to keep track of your student loans, especially if you’ve taken out quite a few. But you’ve got to know who your lenders are, what the balances of those loans are, and their repayment status. If you’re not sure of any of these things, ask your lender or visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You can log into NSLDS and see the status of all your federal loans. If some of your loans aren’t listed, they’re most likely private loans; for those, you’ll need to find recent statements or your original paperwork.

2. Stay in contact with your lenders

You need to keep your contact information current with your lenders. Update your information whenever you change your address, phone number, or email address. If you don’t, you could end up being in deep financial trouble. Open and read every communication you get about your student loans. If you’re getting unwanted collection calls, talk to your lenders—they’re supposed to work with you to solve problems, and even collection agencies have to follow a set of rules about how and when they call you.

3. You have repayment options

When your federal student loans come due, your repayment schedule will automatically be set to a 10-year period. You can, however, change that if you need to. Extending your repayment period will lower your payments, but it will also increase the amount of interest you have to pay. Also be aware that you may qualify for income-based repayment (IBR) options, which cap your payments at a reasonable percentage of your income and forgive any remaining debt after no more than 25 years of affordable payments. (Private loans are not eligible for IBR, deferments, forbearances, or forgiveness programs.)

4. Don’t default!

Not paying your student loans can lead to default, and default has consequences that can harm you for many years to come. Defaulting can ruin your credit, making it impossible for you to borrow money to buy a home, car, or business, for example. Default also means the entire loan balance becomes due, and if you default on federal loans, the government can garnish (take a portion of) your wages and seize your income tax refunds. Federal loans go into default after nine months of non-payment, while private loans can go into default much more quickly. Defaulting on private loans will also cause financial harm to the person who co-signed for your loan, too. If you’re in danger of default, talk to your lender and work out a payment arrangement.

5. Pay off the highest-interest loans first

If you’re able to pay off any of your student loans ahead of schedule, start with the loan that’s the most expensive. If you have private loans, the interest rate on those is almost always higher than the rate on your federal loans, so start with those first.

6. Learn about forgiveness options

There are programs that will forgive some or all of your federal student loans, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a federal program that forgives any remaining student debt after 10 years of qualifying payments for people who work in nonprofit, government, or other public service jobs. Other forgiveness options are available for teachers, nurses, AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers, and much more. Read about some examples here. Keep in mind that some of these loan forgiveness methods may be considered taxable income, so read the fine print before you sign up.

Do you have any other tips for people paying off their student loans? Please share them in the comments.

The post 6 Tips for Keeping Your Student Loans On Track appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/11/6-tips-student-loans/feed/ 0 4260
Mainland Schools Prepare For ‘Influx’ of Puerto Rican Students http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/04/puerto-rico-students-mainland-schools/ http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/04/puerto-rico-students-mainland-schools/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 15:00:25 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4255 Hurricanes Irma and Maria aren’t the only forces closing schools in embattled Puerto Rico. Out of the island’s 1,460 public schools, approximately 400 were destroyed by the storms and surge and an additional 600 remain without power. And months before this, in May of this year, Puerto Rico’s department of education made the decision to […]

The post Mainland Schools Prepare For ‘Influx’ of Puerto Rican Students appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
Hurricanes Irma and Maria aren’t the only forces closing schools in embattled Puerto Rico. Out of the island’s 1,460 public schools, approximately 400 were destroyed by the storms and surge and an additional 600 remain without power. And months before this, in May of this year, Puerto Rico’s department of education made the decision to close nearly 180 schools in a budget-tightening measure. Leaving something less than 300 schools open, for approximately 700,000 school-age children.

Even before the catastrophic hurricane season, Puerto Rico’s government was $120 billion in debt. Many corners had to be cut, and they will continue to be, even more into the quick. Re-opening schools is now a considered a secondary priority – there is no predicted date for Puerto Rican students to go back to class.

The result? Students (and teachers, too) from Puerto Rico are fleeing to stateside schools in droves.

Large school districts, especially in Florida but also in many major U.S. cities, are preparing for an “influx” of Puerto Rican students. American citizens all, many students’ families are moving into Mainland U.S. to attend schools.

The flood is slow, due to Puerto Rico’s barely-functioning airport, but it has distinctly begun. Many districts are treating these students like refugees, waiving requirements for documents that may be impossible to recover from storm-damaged homes, schools, and cities. Education isn’t the only service being offered directly upon arrival – enrollment also gives students access to counseling, food, and in many cases health care.

It is impossible to tally the traumatic effects of losing not only one’s home to a storm, but one’s entire community. Just like in a war zone, youths who miss a year of school due to natural disaster have low odds of ever completing their education. Offering them the consistency of a school year is as important as offering shelter and food. And the future of Puerto Rico depends heavily on not losing the educational and professional futures of an entire generation.

The post Mainland Schools Prepare For ‘Influx’ of Puerto Rican Students appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/10/04/puerto-rico-students-mainland-schools/feed/ 0 4255
10 Things To Do If You Want to Ace the SAT http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/09/27/10-tips-ace-the-sat/ http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/09/27/10-tips-ace-the-sat/#respond Wed, 27 Sep 2017 15:00:06 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4216 If your plans after high school include college or technical school, you’re almost certainly going to have to take the SAT. Of course, the prospect of taking a test that has such an impact on your future can be daunting, particularly if there are areas in which you know you have weaknesses. But fear not; […]

The post 10 Things To Do If You Want to Ace the SAT appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
If your plans after high school include college or technical school, you’re almost certainly going to have to take the SAT. Of course, the prospect of taking a test that has such an impact on your future can be daunting, particularly if there are areas in which you know you have weaknesses. But fear not; there are some things you can do if you want to ace the SAT, and here are six tips from experience and from the experts.

1. Practice with real questions

The experts at PrepScholar say that the best questions to use for your study are those that will most closely resemble the ones on the SAT. Many test prep books are either a lot harder or a lot easier than the actual questions on the exam. If you want to ace the SAT, use the official practice tests provided by the College Board.

2. Practice with real time limits

The most important thing you can do is to complete practice tests under real time constraints so that you can get used to finishing each section in the time allotted to it.

3. Ask a teacher

If there are questions you’re having problems with, consider talking to one of your teachers in that subject area. He or she may have some tips that will help you get a correct answer, and those tips might help you with other questions as well. Protip: Teachers really like being approached by students with a sincere desire to learn.

4. Get enough sleep

If you want to ace the SAT, it can be tempting to stay up until the wee hours of the morning “cramming.” But you’ll do yourself more harm than good by doing so. You need to be well rested in order for your mind to function at its best, so study in the evening but don’t burn the midnight oil.

5. Eat breakfast

Your brain works best when it’s well nourished, so don’t run out of the house with a coffee and a breakfast bar. Take the time to start your test day with a nutritious breakfast if you want to ace the SAT.

6. Stay hydrated

Bring water or electrolyte drinks with you. It’s hard to concentrate on the test when your body is telling you how thirsty you are.

7. Answer all the questions

Before 2016, students were advised not to answer questions if they didn’t know the answer. Back then, test takers wouldn’t be penalized for a non-answer, while they would be penalized for an incorrect answer. This is no longer true. If you want to get the highest possible score, you’re going to have to answer every question.

8. Answer the easy questions first

Because your score depends on answering all the questions, answer the questions in each section that come easily first. Then take the time left to work on the harder questions. Answering the easy questions will help you build your confidence.

9. Use extra time to check your work

If you finish a section of the SAT before time is up, use those extra few minutes to go back over your answers.

10. Remember that you have other opportunities

If you didn’t ace the SAT and you’re disappointed with your score, the SAT is offered seven times during the academic year, so you definitely have time to try again.

Do you have any other tips for students on how they can do well on the SAT? Please share them in the comments.

Photo: A student prepares for the SAT. Credit: Kaplan Test Prep / Shutterstock.com

The post 10 Things To Do If You Want to Ace the SAT appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/09/27/10-tips-ace-the-sat/feed/ 0 4216
American Kids Deported to Mexico Face Educational Obstacles http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/09/20/american-kids-deported-mexico-educational-obstacles/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:00:41 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4211 While anti-immigration advocates will go on and on about the concept of “anchor babies,” American-born children of undocumented immigrants exploited as a get-out-of-deportation card, there really isn’t any such thing anymore. Between half a million and 800,000 American-born children have moved from the United States to Mexico with their undocumented parents in the last decade, […]

The post American Kids Deported to Mexico Face Educational Obstacles appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
While anti-immigration advocates will go on and on about the concept of “anchor babies,” American-born children of undocumented immigrants exploited as a get-out-of-deportation card, there really isn’t any such thing anymore. Between half a million and 800,000 American-born children have moved from the United States to Mexico with their undocumented parents in the last decade, most of those the victims of deportations. Most come from California, which tightened legislation over agricultural hiring practices in 2008.

While they may not have been specifically included in the deportation orders as American-born citizens, their options were limited. What can a third-grader do when their parents are forced to leave the country?

“They’re minors, and they have no voice…That has forced the de facto deportation of U.S. citizen children…a violation not only of the Constitution and rights of citizenship, but it’s also a violation of human life and children’s rights,” said Armando Vazquez-Ramos, a professor at Cal State and president of the California-Mexico Studies Center.

In Mexico, the Mexican Education Department does not have a solid infrastructure for so many added students, many of whom speak little or no Spanish. There is a program to help American students assimilate, but it is unevenly available, as bilingual teachers are expensive and this influx is still less than a decade old.

A UCLA study showed that fewer than 5 percent of Mexican teachers speak or read enough English to assess the educational needs of an Anglophone student, meaning American students get quickly left behind in their new schools.

This is if they can go. American-born children of Mexican parents do not automatically have Mexican citizenship, which they need in order to attend public school. Acquiring dual citizenship can cost half a year and hundreds of dollars.

Today, with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, this pressure on Mexican schools may be increased. The Trump administration wants to end the protections for undocumented children brought to the U.S, which would mean another wave of children deported from the U.S. into Mexican schools.

The post American Kids Deported to Mexico Face Educational Obstacles appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
4211
5 Tips To Create A Killer College Application Essay http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/09/13/5-tips-create-killer-college-application-essay/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 15:00:12 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4206 It seems crazy to be thinking about college applications with the 2017-18 school year barely underway, but it’s not. High school seniors across the U.S. are choosing colleges and getting ready to be one step closer to the postsecondary school of their dreams. It also seems hard to believe that on some college applications, the […]

The post 5 Tips To Create A Killer College Application Essay appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
It seems crazy to be thinking about college applications with the 2017-18 school year barely underway, but it’s not. High school seniors across the U.S. are choosing colleges and getting ready to be one step closer to the postsecondary school of their dreams.

It also seems hard to believe that on some college applications, the essay questions are optional. But just because they are optional doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them, particularly if you’re applying to a very competitive school. The college application essay can make the difference between being accepted and losing your chance to attend your top-choice school.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

First, just write

Sometimes it’s hard to get started when you’re writing a college application essay. But many writers will advise you to think about the essay question and your answer and simply free-write. Don’t censor yourself and don’t let your internal perfectionist get in the way. You might find yourself coming up with some really brilliant ideas. Once you’ve finished your free-write, go back and organize it into an essay.

Avoid “thesaurus abuse”

Of course you want to sound intelligent and well-read, but don’t simply take your essay vocabulary from a thesaurus without understanding the more subtle meanings of words. If you do, you may find that your college application essay sounds silly rather than serious.

Don’t try to guess what admissions officers want to hear

Of course you want to write an essay that will appeal to admissions officers and highlight your academic and athletic achievements. However, if you try to guess what they want to hear rather than letting your real voice come through, you may find that your essay has the opposite effect.

Be yourself

College admissions officers want to hear what makes you unique. What makes you stand out from other applicants? Do you have an odd collection of knickknacks, and why did you start collecting them? How has your life to this point shaped your academic and career choices? By writing about the special things that make you, you, your college application essay is much more likely to stand out from the crowd.

Be relevant

Demonstrate your passion for your favorite subject or future career by writing about related activities you’ve done. These don’t have to be school-sponsored extracurricular activities. Your passion can come out in your hobbies, jobs or volunteer positions you’ve had, and your relationships with friends and family.

What other tips do you have for writing a college application essay? Please share your tips in the comments.

The post 5 Tips To Create A Killer College Application Essay appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
4206
Chicago Grads Must Have Postsecondary Plan http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/09/06/chicago-learn-plan-succeed-high-school/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 15:00:34 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4193 Chicago has one of the largest public school districts in the United States, with nearly 400,000 students in 660 schools. Their graduation rate is historically low, recent improvements bringing it up to 73 percent, still 10 percentage points below the national average. While numbers are soft, an estimated 18 percent of Chicago freshmen will wind […]

The post Chicago Grads Must Have Postsecondary Plan appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
Chicago has one of the largest public school districts in the United States, with nearly 400,000 students in 660 schools. Their graduation rate is historically low, recent improvements bringing it up to 73 percent, still 10 percentage points below the national average. While numbers are soft, an estimated 18 percent of Chicago freshmen will wind up with a degree.

Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, feels that his school district is not doing enough to drive these students forward.

“We are going to help kids have a plan, because they’re going to need it to succeed,” said Emanuel. “You cannot have kids think that 12th grade is done.”

To that end, he and the Chicago school district have put a new plan into play. Titled “Learn. Plan. Succeed,” and scheduled to go into effect for 2020’s graduates, the plan is a new gradation requirement that won’t allow students to leave high school without a firm plan to move forward.

Starting in 2020, graduating Chicago seniors will not be given their diploma without proof that they have been accepted to a college, some other further education, or a trade apprenticeship, given a confirmed job offer, or that they have enlisted in the military.

Many see the problems in this plan. This plan risks resigning students to a damaging loop of no-diploma-no-job-no-diploma, forcing seventeen-year-olds into the military because they do not have the resources, skills, or contacts to take any of the other options, or pushing unprepared teenagers and their parents to take loans they cannot afford to get into college that they aren’t ready for.

Chicago isn’t alone in modifying graduation requirements to combat the perception that graduates are unprepared for the “real world.” Mississippi intends to require students to earn “career and technical endorsements.” New York is considering letting working students use their jobs for school credit. But Chicago’s plan does not leave room to consider the different situations and pressures on students, applying a blanket solution that will be stressful and potentially harmful.

The post Chicago Grads Must Have Postsecondary Plan appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
4193
Tips for White Parents On Discussing Race and Racism http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/08/30/tips-white-parents-discussing-race-racism/ Wed, 30 Aug 2017 15:00:35 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4197 With the August 18 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, the topic of race is on everyone’s mind—as it should be. But how do you talk to your kids about issues of race and racism when you may be uncomfortable with discussing race? First, keep in mind that your kids need you to talk about it. “Children […]

The post Tips for White Parents On Discussing Race and Racism appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
With the August 18 white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, the topic of race is on everyone’s mind—as it should be. But how do you talk to your kids about issues of race and racism when you may be uncomfortable with discussing race?

First, keep in mind that your kids need you to talk about it. “Children need adults to help them develop respect for and acceptance of others,” said Rachel Berman of Ryerson University in Toronto. “Not talking about race and racism sends a message to children that this is a taboo topic, no matter what their age.”

Recognize that “I don’t see color” is not an adequate statement. Even if you don’t see color, it’s guaranteed that your kids do—maybe not in a hostile way, but they certainly see that some children look different than they do.

Preschool and Kindergarten kids are going to notice those skin color differences, and some kids may even say that darker-skinned students look “dirty.” This isn’t the time to hush up your kid or change the subject. Instead, ask them why they think that and explain that people have different skin colors—some darker, and some lighter—and darker skin isn’t dirty.

Once your kids are in elementary school, they’re already noticing that some people have more power and some people are more valued than others. Because of this, you can have talks that encourage critical thinking. When discussing race with them, ask questions like “Who gets to be considered ‘pretty’?” or “Are there certain groups of people who never get to be the hero in books or TV shows?”

Berman recommends the book Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester for kids in grades 1 through 5. It helps kids understand our differences and similarities by asking open-ended questions—and at that age, kids are more likely to grasp that race is “just one of many chapters in a person’s story,” as the School Library Journal said in its review.

This is a good age range to introduce your kids to the idea that some people get treated unfairly because of their race, culture, or religion. Once they understand that, you can also teach them about ways they can combat racism and prejudice.

Once your kids are teenagers, discussing race gets both easier and more difficult. Since they’re more aware of current events, you can have more sophisticated discussions about the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, the president’s response (or lack thereof) and Black Lives Matter. They can start learning about white privilege by seeing the ways it’s at work in their lives. This subject builds upon their previous learning about unfair treatment of people of different races.

Tweens and teens should also be reminded of the importance of critical thinking, particularly since at that age they begin spending a lot more time online. Teach your kids about considering the source of a story, how to fact-check, and what to do if they have friends and peers who are developing racist beliefs.

This isn’t a comprehensive guide to discussing race with your kids, of course, but it’s a good place to start.

What other tips do you have for white parents on discussing race and white privilege with your kids? Please share them in the comments!

The post Tips for White Parents On Discussing Race and Racism appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
4197
Life After Art School http://www.supportingeducation.org/2017/08/25/life-after-art-school/ Fri, 25 Aug 2017 15:00:30 +0000 http://www.supportingeducation.org/?p=4189 There’s art school, and then there’s…whatever comes next. While not unique to art students, life after college can be a giant question mark for many, particularly those looking to go into a creative field. For artists, there are definite pros and cons to coming from an art school background. In the end, however, artists have […]

The post Life After Art School appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
There’s art school, and then there’s…whatever comes next. While not unique to art students, life after college can be a giant question mark for many, particularly those looking to go into a creative field. For artists, there are definite pros and cons to coming from an art school background. In the end, however, artists have more options than they may think when it comes to choosing a direction to take their art post-college—particularly given all the opportunities art school can provide.

Many PNCA students, for example, are already showing their work professionally even while still in school. MFA student Angélica Maria Millán Lazon’s Engendradxs was shown at the Williamson | Knight gallery even before it was shown in PNCA’s MFA presentation. So while art school itself can be a period of safe experimentation, it can also provide professional opportunities and connections that catapult an artist forward into the “real” world.

It can be difficult to get to that point, however, with all the challenges of transmuting education into a creative career. And yet, hundreds of students go on to successful careers in illustration, teaching, art direction, animation, set design, gallery work, and more. So how does that happen?

Writing for The Huffington Post, art professor F. Scott Hess has a few ideas. Location, he says, can have a big impact on an art career. While students don’t have to live in a large city in order to be successful, a more metropolitan area can provide resources like museums, critics, and successful colleagues.

And speaking of colleagues, those connections can be key to building a creative career. Your fellow art students can inspire, motivate, and share resources that will get you going in the career direction you want. It’s never a good idea to ignore either classmates or professors when it comes to building the network needed to support a successful career.

By the way, the idea of the “starving artist” is quickly losing its cultural appeal. Many artists work freelance these days, often in multiple jobs. Self-promotion, especially on social media, is key to generating creative work. And a solid portfolio will take you far—farther than your grades. A Guardian article pointed to a conversation between the author and a director at a graphic design company who actually said he’d rather hire someone with hobbies and and an interesting portfolio than someone whose main source of fame comes from a high-powered degree. “They might be really boring,” the director lamented.

Particularly in today’s gig economy, it’s more possible than ever to build up a solid post-graduation career in art. The trick is to be aware of the available resources both in school and out.

The post Life After Art School appeared first on Supporting Education.

]]>
4189