4. The long-term effects of COVID-19 on students and schools will take years to understand. It is widely acknowledged that arts education provides authentic ways for students to build long-term social-emotional competencies (such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, empathy, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making). How will you provide school communities with the tools and resources needed to confront and address trauma while fostering a welcoming, supportive environment?
It is essential for our students to be able to communicate their fears or confusion in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it may be difficult for them to do such in a standard classroom setting or frightening in a guidance counselor-type setting, within an arts class atmosphere children may be more open and forthcoming. Without the rigidity of academics, children may utilize this opportunity to express any feelings they may have. That is, at it’s core, what arts education is all about. For that reason I would allocate more resources towards training art teachers and instructors on how to counsel children in this regard, incorporating more conversation within the program in order to foster a ‘safe space’ atmosphere.