#WhyIGive | Annie Bishop

on November 18, 2015

This ‪#‎WhyIGive‬ Wednesday, third-grade teacher and P.S. ARTS supporter Annie Bishop shares why she invested in the future of public school arts education with a gift to the P.S. ARTS Endowment.

A message from Annie Bishop . . .

As a public school teacher, there is a lot of pressure to implement district initiatives and programs. Though these mandates are well-intentioned, they require us, the teachers, to spread ourselves thin. The time that could be spent planning great lessons for our students is often spent filling out paperwork and attending meetings or trainings. Many of these new district initiatives are aimed at getting students to think critically and creatively or teaching students about empathy and compassion — all of which can be developed through the artistic process — yet few, if any, of these programs, integrate the arts. If it were up to the teachers, I can guarantee that we would fill our students’ days with creativity and that the arts would be an irreplaceable part of every day. Unfortunately, this creative aspect of teaching and learning is too often disappearing from the profession.

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I give to P.S. ARTS because I truly believe in the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Though we can survive on only a granola bar for lunch and can make it from the morning bell to lunchtime without a restroom break, teachers are not super-humans. Though we sometimes pretend we do, we do not have superpowers, and we can’t do everything. I think trying to is actually detrimental to our students. No one likes a tired, grumpy teacher!

The solution is to embrace the “village” resources that are available to us. P.S. ARTS and its amazingly talented Teaching Artists is a perfect model for how we can truly provide our students with the best well-rounded education possible. Instead of overextending classroom teachers and neglecting students’ needs for a creative outlet, why not share the responsibility and rely on community partners for support? This is exactly what P.S. ARTS enables schools and teachers to do. P.S. ARTS contributes to a cycle of improving not only the well-being of the students, but of the community. Students develop creatively, professional artists share their passions, community and school partnerships continue to grow, and our village is uplifted.

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I will end with a quote from one of my favorite artists:

“Every child is born an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
— Pablo Picasso

I think I speak for all teachers when I say that I don’t want to be responsible for diminishing the creative spirit in my students, but rather for nourishing it. Unfortunately, the current system doesn’t always allow for creative growth. Thanks to P.S. ARTS, classroom teachers and Teaching Artists are able to work together to create more meaningful educational experiences for all learners.

Thank you P.S. ARTS!

#InvestInInnovation at psarts.org/endowment

P.S. ARTS#WhyIGive | Annie Bishop