Painting. Pottery. Creative writing. Cooking. Language. The list could continue on forever. They’re all classes we’ve heard of, but how many of them would you say you had (or have) in your high school or middle school? Personally, I had half of those. And there weren’t a ton more to add to the list. Their names? The extracurriculars. The arts.
They’re the first thing to go when school need to cut funding, as I’m sure we’ve all seen plenty of times. Some schools have more than others, but I’d say that generally, there aren’t nearly enough of these classes as there should be.
Of course math, english, science and history are important and critical to developing knowledgeable minds. However, I believe the arts should be just as important, if not more. This is not to say that you can have one and not the other, rather that they both compliment each other and should be treated as such.
Many professions in this world require creative minds, and even those that don’t explicitly, still do. When we’re teaching students only things that use the opposite side of their brain, we’re missing half of what we could be doing. Many students don’t click with school because they don’t like the organization and straight-forwardness that many of the core subjects bring. Their time to shine comes when they can express themselves through classes where they’re continuously thinking critically and creatively.
By not offering students tons of extracurricular classes (or any at all), we’re telling them they have to fit a certain mold. We’re stopping some of them from reaching their potential. We’re telling them that “the arts” won’t help them in the future. We’re telling them that the good jobs are the ones that stem from the core subjects. We’re hiding their outlet to escape from life or express themselves to the world.
By taking away funding in these areas, we’re doing a lot more than just removing a class.
How many of those students with limited opportunities in high school will grow up, wondering what else there could have been out there? How many will never even know they had a talent that just wasn’t unlocked in their brain?
Although limiting students’ opportunities may seem like a simple fix, the impacts will last for generations to come.
My name is Amanda Rossol. I'm 21 years old and majoring in Spanish and Secondary Education, with a minor in English. I'm currently heading into my internship year, where I'm placed in a high-school, Spanish classroom. Something interesting about me is that I LOVE country music!