The Right Brain Initiative

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Teachers get it

June 13th, 2013 by Becky Thomas

“I never would have attempted this project without my Right Brain training. It was a real leap of faith to take 26 kids out into the garden and let them make something. It paid off.”

-Lewis Elementary teacher Paul Colvin

Lewis students work collaboratively to create art using natural objects. Teacher Paul Colvin is using Right Brain techniques to integrate the arts in his practice, and it’s paying off for his students. Photo by Paul Colvin.

Our goal at Right Brain is to bring the arts to every student in the Portland region, but not just for an hour a day or a week-long special program. We want the arts to be embedded in each lesson, so that our children learn to collaborate, think independently and solve problems creatively. To achieve that goal, we need teachers to agree and work to make it a reality. Luckily, we’ve got some awesome teachers around here.

Despite facing innumerable pressures, teachers who work with Right Brain are making the commitment to bring arts to their students every day. They’re seeing students respond and engage in our artist residencies, and we’re bringing them more professional development opportunities than ever to help them think creatively in their own lesson planning.

Mr. Colvin put that training to use in a recent lesson–detailed here on his blog–bringing students outside and letting them work together to create natural art inspired by artist Andy Goldsworth. The students created a beautiful piece and learned about plant biology along the way. Check out the pictures and student reflections!

We’re so excited about Mr. Colvin’s continued efforts, and the work of so many other educators, because it proves that this work matters. Teachers are using their limited resources and boundless passion to realize and expand our shared vision: engage both sides of the brain and our students will learn important lessons in a meaningful way. They’ll be ready to think and contribute in the amazing future we’re creating together. Awesome!

   

Becky Thomas