Bancroft Middle School Listening Campaign Transcripts
Interviewee: Ailin Wong, student
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:06.22] We are working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools everyday across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so that we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. Can we proceed by asking you a few questions? Could you state your first and last name and spell it, please?
AW: [00:00:33.10] Ailin, A-i-l-i-n that's my first name. Wong, W-o-n-g.
I: [00:00:40.15] Cool. So, Ailin, what makes you wanna come to school every day?
AW: [00:00:45.06] Art.
I: [00:00:47.18] Yeah? You have a really good art program over here?
AW: [00:00:51.18] It’s an elective.
I: [00:00:56.23] When I say "the arts" what comes to mind? What are some of the arts you’re interested in?
AW: [00:01:10.19] Anime ??? paintings, patterns, yeah any kind of art. I don't know. ???
I: [00:01:21.11] Nice. Do you do any of these things at school here or at home or anything like that? You said you draw a little bit of anime.
AW: [00:01:30.02] yes, at school during class, I kind of draw sketches and all that. And then at home I also draw for hours.
I: [00:01:40.04] Nice. Is it a good kind of therapeutic, release?
AW: [00:01:41.18] Mmm-hmm.
I: [00:01:43.14] I'm an artist too as well so that's good. And anime, I’ve been ??? When I say "arts education" what are some things that come to mind?
AW: [00:01:54.26] Art, patterns. I don't know. I don't know. Paintings. Sketches. Patterns. Yeah, all of that.
I: [00:02:18.18] Cool. Does your school kind of include some of these arts education?
AW: [00:02:24.04] Yeah.
I: [00:02:25.01] When I say "creativity", what's it mean for you?
AW: [00:02:28.13] Oh, creativity it’s like using your mind to create some - if you think of something, try to do it. Yeah.
I: [00:02:40.28] Kind of what’s in your brain and everything like that. What is creativity mean to you?
AW: [00:02:47.09] Creativity is thinking of something and then doing it. When you see something, you do it.
I: [00:03:01.23] Kind of putting your -
I: [00:03:03.23] Do you think you’re getting the most out of your education here?
AW: [00:03:09.09] Yeah.
I: [00:03:11.03] Cool. What are some of things that help you or inspire you to be creative?
AW: [00:03:19.17] By other artists. I always go on Instagram and look at their drawings.
I: [00:03:27.14] Nice. Do you have any favorite artists?
AW: [00:03:29.27] Yeah Quinn??? art.
I: [00:03:31.22] Quinn??? art? Cool, I’ll have to look him up after this.
AW: [00:03:36.12] It’s a her.
I: [00:03:37.15] It’s a her? I’ll have to look her up. Do you see any opportunities opening up for you related to school and some of the talents you have with art?
AW: [00:03:50.25] Not really.
I: [00:03:53.06] Not too much right now? Just out of curiosity, what grade are you in?
AW: [00:03:56.10] Seventh.
I: [00:03:58.11] OK. Do you feel like you’re in a safe learning environment?
AW: [00:04:02.10] Yeah.
I: [00:04:03.05] Would you agree that some of your teachers help you succeed?
AW: [00:04:09.24] Mmm-hmm.
I: [00:04:10.25] Do you think that they, instead of just viewing you as a student, look at you as an artist and as a person and have more of a personal connection as well?
AW: [00:04:24.19] Mmm-hmm.
I: [00:04:25.16] Cool. Do you think that the schooling that you’re getting is relevant to what you want out of life in the long run? When you’re done and finished with school?
AW: [00:04:38.03] Yeah.
I: [00:04:38.29] Do you have an idea of what you wanna do when you’re out?
AW: [00:04:41.16] I might be ??? or just a plain artist.
I: [00:04:45.21] That's nice. Would you want to do - and this is just out of curiosity, do you see yourself doing - cause with arts, there’s a lot of different avenues that you could take. What would be your dream job as an artist?
AW: [00:05:03.08] Dream job. I don't know. Just an artist. I can't -
I: [00:05:10.29] Yeah, na, it's cool. You definitely got talent and that’s exactly how I was when I was younger. I just wanted to be an artist and I’m definitely on that train. Do you feel like you’re getting the education to prepare you for adulthood as far as looking out just for taxes or some of the stuff that they don't exactly teach in math or do they have any electives that have you think outside of the box? Like, maybe - what are some of the examples? Cause I know that taxes are one of them and student loans and stuff like that?
AW: [00:05:57.04] Like getting ready for college and do we have classes for that? I'm not sure.
I: [00:06:03.18] OK, no, its fine. Cause this is about the conclusion. Was there anything else that you wanna add? Anything to the interview or just about yourself or your experiences?
AW: [00:06:16.19] No.
I: [00:06:17.26] OK. No worries. That concludes our interview. I appreciate you. thank you for your time.
AW: [00:06:23.11] You’re welcome.
Interviewee: Bryant Hicks, Coach and After-school Site Director
Interviewer: Tauriq Hamilton
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
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I: [00:00:44.03] First, Id like to introduce myself, my name is Terek Hamilton and I go to San Lorenzo High School. I'm a senior. I'm doing this internship called "What's Your Word?" where we go around the Alameda County and we ask students, teachers and staff about arts and creativity and how they can affect students schoolwork or maybe bring out creativity from students and such like that. And I would like to ask you a few questions, if that was OK?
BH: [00:01:22.28] Sounds great. Let’s go for it.
I: [00:01:24.17] Can I have your full name and can you spell it out for me?
BH: [00:01:27.23] Bryant Hicks, B-r-y-a-n-t H-i-c-k-s. I’m the Site Director for the after-school program here at Bancroft Middle School.
I: [00:01:37.22] Can you explain to me what a Site Director does?
BH: [00:01:43.05] We oversee over a hundred students in the after-school program. We organize, especially men’s, I'm also one of the AssistantCoaches for the basketball team. With our after-school program we have several different components. We have a healthy snack component, where we have our kids come in, they provide them with a healthy snack and then after that we have each student do two laps around the track just so there’s some sort of physical activity. Then they go to a homework period and then to end the day they have some sort of enrichment, from anywhere from sports, computers to one of our most important and favorite, art.
I: [00:02:17.19] What makes you come to school every day?
BH: [00:02:21.16] The kids. The kids keep me young, just helping them learn new things every day. I feel like I learn stuff every day also from them at school.
I: [00:02:33.13] I know this is a little bit too high-headed about middle school students, but do you feel like you’re teaching them some sort of adulthood?
BH: [00:02:44.21] Yeah, actually I feel like we teach them a lot of adult skills and life skills. I work in the elementary school also during the day and I always tell the kids the difference is like elementary school you’re really cute, you didn't know that much, you’re learning. And now middle school, it’s the next step up. It’s a difference of you didn't pass something in elementary school it wasn't as significant as if you don’t pass a class in middle school. cause middle school up to high school onto college. This is the gateway to adulthood so we just kind of let them know that. We’re not really that hard on them, we basically like them to learn from their mistakes.
I: [00:03:19.26] Can you explain to me more about the art program in your after-school program?
BH: [00:03:25.04] We actually have all types of different art programs that we do in the after-school program. We have different, what we call them is Youth Development Coordinators, they’re' the teachers of the program and they can decide what they actually want to teach during the time. We’ve had recycled art. We’ve done photography and we’ve done photography from the old school, actual cameras to doing a ??? class with just using your cell phones like all the kids do now days. We also have done computer art and a lot of visual art.
I: [00:04:00.24] What does creativity mean to you?
BH: [00:04:03.24] Just basically thinking outside of the box. I think being creative or being an artist it’s a very broad range. You can be an artist by drawing. You can be an artist by singing. You can be an artist by telling jokes. There’s all types of different things with that. That’s why art is a beautiful thing.
I: [00:04:40.06] Do you feel like in your after-school programs that you try to push a lot of that creativity out of these students?
BH: [00:04:54.19] I think we make it a safe place for them to be creative. We kind of give them that leeway of, hey, if it’s something that you’re interested in, let’s do it. Because it is a program for them. At elementary schools, kids have to be there because that’s where their parents have them. At middle school, they get older so it’s more of an option for them. We are lucky, our program and the program that were running at John Muir, we seem to have over a hundred students enrolled which hasn’t happened in many years. I think it’s just because of the program that we run and giving them that option of if you wanna do some sort of music art, we have that available for you. It’s kind of what they wanna do. It’s not being dictated by us.
I: [00:05:35.06] It kind of seems like you’re showing them some opportunities that they can have right after high school, maybe if they go to college, maybe wanna do photography or maybe just continue in the art?
BH: [00:05:48.20] Definitely. Were open to anything that sparks their interest in learning and staying educated and being in school.
I: [00:05:57.06] Do you feel like there’s more art during school or after school?
BH: [00:06:02.05] I’m not quite sure. At this school it’s probably fifty-fifty just because they have different clubs after school they can’t do during the day. They have an anime club which you can't have an anime class during the school day so they do have that. We are pretty well-rounded I feel like with the arts program. Like I said, ??? art drawing or art music. Almost every student at our school is in some sort of music or band or something like that. I’d say about fifty-fifty. But we definitely provide as many art opportunities as possible.
I: [00:06:52.01] What ignites your creativity?
BH: [00:06:54.28] Myself, I'm a comic also so I consider myself to be a artist and sometimes coming to school, these jokes write themselves, these kids is crazy. Sometimes I just come and learn some of your new lingo, bring it on stage, it helps out all the time, definitely. I love that all the students still have their whole futures ahead of themselves. They may they think this isn't cool or this is cool and just being that person being like things could be better or you’re making the wrong decision or your making the right decision, just really giving them that kind of extra push but not forcing them to do anything or giving options and showing that the world is a big place with lots of different opportunities.
I: [00:07:48.27] When you were in late elementary or just beginningof middle school, did you have any other peers that pushed your creativity?
BH: [00:08:02.14] Yeah, but I considered myself an artist on the basketball court then. I was definitely just all basketball. Played on traveling teams and that was back before everyone was on a traveling team. Definitely basketball. Thanks to all my coaches, just definitely kept me going on the right path. Then, I wanna say my sixth grade teacher, actually maybe not with art, but he got me going just thinking about education. He was one to be like it’s a lot easier when you got good grades. He kind of gave us incentives to get good grades. It was one of those things I definitely learned from him cause it was mostly before I didn't really care too much about school. Were just here, hanging out with my friends. He was like if you’re one of the top ten students in our class when everyone else is taking the test on Friday, you get to be in the back watching a movie, having popcorn. I was like I might as welltry to be one of the top ten students for that. I definitely use that in my work too. it’s not always, but incentives help.
I: [00:09:04.25] What do you think about teachers using a lot of creativity in their classrooms, such as either math or science, it doesn't have to really be art, but what do you think about the teachers using creativity more in those normal classes that you take?
BH: [00:09:29.18] I think the more that they can relate to the students the better it is. Have you seen around this classroom there’s a lot of art actually done in this classroom. It’s just ways for different kids for them to express themselves. Because I wasn’t necessarily a student who could sit down and write out everything I wanted to say, but if you put me up in front of a class, I could definitely articulate it or I could say it better than I could write it down. That’s just the person that I am. Some people can draw it out. Some people can write it out better. It’s just giving that different opportunity. I think with the teachers, you have to really relate to students. One of my favorites, we were in one of the other classroom actually interviewing and she was showing this student how to write the proper heading for their papers. it was like the title was in the middle, the person’s name she put up there was Tupac Shakur. It’s just something that the kids are like I know who Tupac is, but that’s how they remember it now. Something that my teacher might not have had that, they might have had John Doe or period three English. She knew that if you put Two Pac this is gonna make the kids drawn in more of to what we’re trying to teach them. so I definitely think that type of stuff helps and you have to be creative like that. That’s way our after-school program, if you look at it, it doesn't look maybe as structured as everybody else’s because that’s where we’ve found out that you get the push back. Cause they’re in a structure, the bell rings, you have be here, if you’re not here on time, you’re getting in trouble. whereas we give them a lot of freedom but it’s also in a structured way, but they don’t know. We’ve kind of bamboozled them. We’re like you can go to the gas station, with a friend. That’s the rule. but you have to ask us. So they just do that and they think it’s their freedom but it’s something they can probably do anyway. It’s just more about setting up the boundaries for them.
I: [00:11:40.10] What is your main goal with your students during the after-school program?
BH: [00:11:44.13] For them to all get home safely and have a good time. Just a place for them to be able to be themselves, to be kids, young adults. You have your whole life ahead of you to worry about other issues, problems, we got all this politics and all that stuff, you have plenty of time in life for that. Just come here, be a kid, have a good time, smile. Just know that you have a group of adults here who care for you here to help you accomplish your goals and were here to do what we can to help you do that.
I: [00:12:20.01] I got some of my memory back. My question was mainly about kids - ah I remember! Do you feel like your students at the after-school program - how do I word this? They can express themselves more at the after-school program rather than inside the school? I was saying, do you feel like your kids/students have - wait let me rephrase that. Do you feel like your students can express themselves drastically more at the after-school program rather than inside their classrooms?
BH: [00:13:20.25] Yes. Because we make it a safe place for everybody to talk. We're completely against put-downs. I think with me being a comic, it’s really good cause I’ve seen people try to bully somebody and make fun of somebody and I get paid to do that, you know what I mean? If they’re trying to bully somebody else, I have a snap-back for them. That just isn’t apart of our program where, if it was definitely was, they would definitely pick on each other and when I see it during the school day. So when I come, you hear people will say, oh you’re ugly ??? ,but when we get to our school program, that’s just not something that happens. Because it’s just a ??? and we know that if any of my staff hears something like that they’re gonna address it right away. Whereas, I don't know if it’s just during the day you have so many more students that it’s hard to address every little thing. But, I make sure that we do address it cause if you don’t then it just leads onto bigger and worse problems.
I: [00:14:19.15] How do you think kids would do in their classrooms if they didn't have any type of art or creativity?
BH: [00:14:29.01] I think it’s a horrible thing. I couldn’t even imagine that not being. because for the student who art is the way that they can express themselves the fullest, to not have that, would hamper them. I know, like I said, when I was younger, I was really into Basketball. I was a sports guy. If I didn't have recess or have PE class, it would destroy me. I couldn’t' imagine that. During times like this, rainy days, when we didn't get to go outside it was the hardest days for me. So, just knowing that you need to have that actual outlet and that you’re learning something from it too. There are different things you could do within. I had said that we offered photography. One of my really good friends is a professional photographer, he goes around the world shooting photos for surfers for surf magazines. I’m so jealous because we had the same class but he gets paid to do that and I get paid to do this. But, not, not at all people (laughter) No, I'm joking. (laughter)
I: [00:15:33.20] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?
BH: [00:15:41.08] I think it’s a really big deciding factor for some students cause like I said they really need a way to express themselves. I feel like some of them are maybe shyer students. might be shy in a classroom setting because there’s so much going on but when you’re actually able to sit down and do an art project you can really see them flourish. I don't think your group interviewed, but another group got to interview our girl, Ailin. If you met her, she probably say two words to you. But then when we get her talking to her about this stuff, she went and got her book of drawings and showed all them. It’s something she’s very proud of. Whereas that's something that you would never know. then we talk to her about it and how good she is. When we’re setting this whole thing up, I was like Ailin, you’re taking part in this because this is basically about how important art is.
I: [00:16:46.12] It’s kind of like the question you already asked, but I kind of want to get a different answer or a different point of view. With this program its allowed me to ask teachers and students questions that I would want to ask when I was a student in high school and its allowing me to voice my opinion. So, like what he was saying, being able to voice your opinion how certain classes are structured do you feel like students are able to do that in a classroom to help their learning?
BH: [00:17:26.05] Maybe not as necessarily as they would like to in the day time instructional periods because of what the teachers are mandated to teach. Whereas an after-school program, we have state standards that we have to apply by but it’s a broad range. So state standards for arts is here and there, you can do so much with that. And that’s the best part about it. With the classes you have English, you’re in English for the whole school year. With ours, we do a two-week enrichment and if they really like it, we'll make it a four-week enrichment. If were doing an art project and everybody really like it, its gonna need to be a six-week art project, we'll go that. so, definitely we give them that option. And we ask them what they want to do. Cause if I'm going to do a week of Asian art and nobody wants to do Asian art, I'm not gonna have anybody sign up in my enrichment and that’s the main thing. we have to have to twenty-five students in each enrichment.
I: [00:18:29.08] Do your students ever come to you and complain about some of their classes or what’s going on or how its taught?
BH: [00:18:37.03] Oh, yes, all the time. All the time. The kids like to vent to us. I feel like they know that were the teachers but also think of us as more their friends and that we can actually kind of fend for them. I feel like we are like that extra person for them. We’ve actually have had people in the office call us in to help out with people. One of my favorites was one of my students, he had just transferred from Long Beach last year, and he just wasn't having a good time. he was having a lot of problems and his parents brought us in and he basically said the only time he feels comfortable at school is at the after-school program. Which I gave kudos to my staff for that because that’s all them. Like I said, I feel like it’s just a great place for kids to come be a kid and be yourself. If you wanna be goofy, you can be goofy. If you’re having a bad day and you’re just in your class - If I’m in front of my class I’m teaching thirty-five kids for that hour, I might not be able to focus on that you’re having a bad day. But in the after-school program I've seen you every day and I’ve noticed that today you’re not the little lovely happy-go-lucky person I see. So when we’re taking our laps, I might come by and just check-in with you. I feel like they know I’m gonna check-in with you and if I see something, and its maybe you, I'd send my Coach Ross. If it was you, I might send Daisy. But I’m gonna ask first and then well kind of find out that way so hopefully they can either come up to us or we ask them.
I: [00:20:06.00] Your students feel more comfortable voicing their opinions to you?
BH: [00:20:10.18] Yes.
I: [00:20:11.17] How do you think teachers can get that trust from their students? What can they do to be able to a certain point where it’s not disrespectful where you’re not yelling at them saying blah, blah, blah, but when they’re able to comfortably tell you this is not working for me in class? Because a lot of students don’t have that because they feel like the teacher doesn’t care because they just have to do it, that’s what you’re supposed to do.
BH: [00:20:39.06] It’s a lot of rapport building. It’s a whole, whole lot of rapport building. if the teachers were granted enough time, they could go into the start of the school year and spend the first two weeks just becoming friends with all the students, I think that’s something that would work tremendous for them. But unfortunately, we don’t have that time and resources to do that. That’s our main thing. we have great rapport with all our students to the point I'veseen a teacher tell somebody, say "stop that!" and then the kid be like, "what? You can’t be talkin' to me", and I'll be like "hey, stop that!" and they’re like OK. Because they know that we have that rapport cause I’m not just saying stop that just cause I want you to stop that. It’s for a reason. It’s because if you keep doing that, you might get or hurt or there could be other consequences.
I: [00:21:25.11] Do you think teachers should make that time to get to know their students so they can have that relationship with them?
BH: [00:21:34.19] It’s not the teachers. if the teachers could afford the time, they would.
I: [00:21:38.06] Yeah. Should it be made -
BH: [00:21:40.27] Yes. It should be made for them. If the teachers could do it they would love to have the two weeks to build a rapport with them. But it's just now in the school systems, in the day and age that were in, there’s not that time. But you can see the students that are very successful with their students have that rapport with them. It actually takesa longer time so that’s what’s good about having students who are in the area for a long amount of time. some of my students who have been in my program since sixth grade, now they’re heading off to eighth grade, I know their quirks, I know whether they’re having bad days, good days.
I: [00:22:18.18] how can the arts help connect students and teachers (inaudible)
BH: [00:22:26.04] I think a lot with the students, could teach a lot to the teachers about the new age art. About coding and stuff like that. That’s stuff that’s very new to most teachers. Teachers could find ways to use more art projects in everything. an English teacher could do more dioramas and stuff for your art projects. For a history teacher, you read ??? our love, our school cause every year we do a big history fair and these kids dress up and act the parts of what they’re doing. It’s a huge - you should definitely check that out. I think it’s Mr. Thomas or Mr. Smutherland run the program and it’s a great thing to do towards the end of the year.
I: [00:23:36.11] Can you repeat a little bit of what you said just now because I just forgot my question. I need -
BH: [00:23:38.10] I forgot what I said too.
I: [00:23:44.04] OK. How the arts help - OK, I remember what I was gonna say. Do you think the teachers are willing to learn from the students? The staff that you know?
BH: [00:23:56.06] Yes, definitely. Definitely. I feel like this school is very progressive. We are a fan of - nobody wants to entertain people who don't wane be here being entertained so we try to figure out ways for them to relate to the students, definitely. Definitely. I think one of my favorite things, we had a school dance, and we had kids who were just, everybody talking about the club. so they made the dance like a club. You had the VIP section where you could pay extra money and you could have table service and you could get a bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. Like they popped bottles at the dance (laughter) which was hilarious to me. but our school related to that so that’s what the kids were into and it was a huge thing. And then the next dance, the kids really wanted to play video games so we got a big video game board. so they had half the dance area was covered with dance floor and the other half was a game room. And that’s things that kids came up with.
I: [00:24:59.13] I think that’s it.
BH: [00:24:59.10] alright. Perfect. Thank you. You all have a good one. Great job. Great job.
Interviewee: Daisy Coronado, student
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:00.29] Can you please say your name and spell it out.
DC: [00:00:02.09] My name is Daisy Coronado. It's D-a-i-s-y C-o-r-o-n-a-d-o.
I: [00:00:08.19] We are working with leaders from around the county to make a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools every day across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. Can we ask you a few questions?
DC: [00:00:24.02] Yes.
I: [00:00:24.29] What makes you wanna go to school every day?
DC: [00:00:27.21] To work, here? (laughter) Coming to see the students, learning about their days, what they do in their classes.
I: [00:00:36.06] What does creativity mean to you?
DC: [00:00:39.03] Expressing yourself in different forms. You can be creative with making music, in art, painting stuff, hands-on, any kind of stuff that helps you express yourself.
I: [00:00:52.26] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?
DC: [00:00:57.27] My creativity its ignited by my culture, where I come from, my family, my beliefs.
I: [00:01:08.04] What ignites your students’ creativity, imagination and passion?
DC: [00:01:11.09] That’s a good question. I guess what they’re interested in. For example, they like a certain singer, they'll talk about them all the time, they'll draw them, they'll make collages about them. It just depends on their interest as well.
I: [00:01:33.12] What can your school do to better inspire your creativity?
DC: [00:01:36.22] What can my school do to better inspire my creativity? Have more hands-on things with the students, like hands-on activities. Or get them more involved as a class together doing different activities. I think that's it, really.
I: [00:02:03.28] What do you think the school could do to better inspire your students creativity?
DC: [00:02:09.24] Getting them together and doing stuff as a group instead of just individually. Cause sometimes they have students in the same classroom that are as creative as them but they don’t' really know each other. We have students in our program that don't really know each other. Like, a sixth grader might know how to draw really well and then an eighth grader knows how to draw. But they don't know each other cause they have different friends, even though they’re in the same program, sometimes they don't talk to each other and they’re kind of separated just because of their grade. But they're both really great artists so it’s like they know how to draw really nice. I try to get to have them talk to each other, introduce themselves to get to know each other, to share their artwork.
I: [00:03:01.09] So they can bounce ideas back off each other?
DC: [00:03:03.25] Yes.
I: [00:03:05.25] What did you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a teacher?
DC: [00:03:09.13] At least teach my students one thing. If I can teach them how to do one thing that they’re gonna remember forever, I feel like I’ve been accomplished just because whenever they’re doing that they’re gonna be like, oh Ms. Daisy me how to do this.
I: [00:03:28.28] Do you think that you’re able to achieve this with your students?
DC: [00:03:32.06] Yes. Yes.
I: [00:03:34.03] What currently is your main goal as a teacher?
DC: [00:03:37.15] My main goal. I mean, it would be that, to teach them something. To be able to make that life-long lesson and keep it inside them to where they think about it even when they’re older. And even eventually might teach it to somebody else.
I: [00:03:58.01] Do you use arts in your classroom?
DC: [00:04:02.19] Yes, we do.
I: [00:04:03.06] How do you use arts?
DC: [00:04:04.13] I try to incorporate as much art as I can just because I know in school, during the school hours, they just think about their schoolwork like math and science and all that stuff. So I try to make it - I'm not saying that’s not fun, but I try to make it more hands-on when it comes to activities in our classroom.
I: [00:04:28.06] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?
DC: [00:04:31.29] I feel like it’s important just because they get to express themselves with the art that they do, any kind of activity they might be doing. Whether it be ceramics, it be painting, dance, any kind of stuff like that, they get to express themselves.
I: [00:04:51.25] Alright. That concludes this interview. Thank you.
DC: [00:04:54.04] Thank you. Thanks so much.
Interviewee: Grant Antoine, After-school program leader
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:03.19] One more question, what do you do here?
GA: [00:00:04.09] I supervise kids and that’s pretty much it.
I: [00:00:08.17] Oh, OK.
GA: [00:00:09.04] In a after-school program.
I: [00:00:25.21] Hello, welcome. What is your name?
GA: [00:00:28.18] My name is Grant Antoine. G-r-a-n-t A-n-t-o-i-n-e.
I: [00:00:35.13] Nice to meet you. This is the arts and creativity for the love of school and a better future listening campaign. We are working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools every day across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. Can we ask you a few questions?
GA: [00:01:00.15] Yes.
I: [00:01:01.15] What makes you want to go to school every day?
GA: [00:01:04.26] To get an education and get a job.
I: [00:01:09.25] What does creativity mean to you?
GA: [00:01:12.14] Creativity means things that are - lost my thought. Things that you would create on your own and make that into something.
I: [00:01:33.20] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?
GA: [00:01:38.12] My mom and my dad. They always want me to think outside the box when it comes to school.
I: [00:01:48.28] What ignites your students’ creativity, imagination and passion from what you’ve viewed?
GA: [00:01:59.09] What ignites my passion?
I: [00:02:04.01] No, like the students you work with. What have you seen that really makes them creative?
GA: [00:02:09.03] Oh. Them just - repeat the question.
I: [00:02:34.26] What ignites your students’ creativity, imagination and passion? Some examples would be the music they listen to, the posters on the wall in the room you work in or just the way the dress, different things to inspire their creativity, you know?
GA: [00:02:58.08] Maybe like the walls around them. They need to feel like they’re part of the school, honestly.
I: [00:03:07.01] What can your school do to better inspire your creativity?
GA: [00:03:12.13] Suggest more events to them and more (inaudible). To help inspire me?
I: [00:03:30.02] Yeah.
GA: [00:03:35.19] Probably more support, more help.
I: [00:03:39.09] What can your school do to better inspire your students creativity?
GA: [00:03:43.27] Have more activities for them.
I: [00:03:53.09] What did you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a teacher? And were able to achieve this with your students?
GA: [00:04:04.21] Yes. I hope to (inaudible) Can you repeat that again?
I: [00:04:20.03] What did you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a teacher? And were you able to achieve this with your students?
GA: [00:04:29.02] I hope to accomplish helping out more and being part of their education more. I actually did kind of accomplish that.
I: [00:04:40.00] What’s your main goal as a teacher?
GA: [00:05:09.10] I guess be more part of their daily lifestyle, I guess.
I: [00:05:22.02] Do you use arts in your classroom?
GA: [00:05:25.02] Yes.
I: [00:05:25.22] How so?
GA: [00:05:28.05] I use them for art.
I: [00:05:34.22] Like with your students, what arts do you do?
GA: [00:05:37.12] We play sports. We do art, like visual art, creative art. And we do cooking.
I: [00:05:50.13] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?
GA: [00:06:15.14] Repeat that again.
I: [00:06:16.07] What do you see as being the roles of arts in educating young people?
GA: [00:06:48.04] I don't know. Can we skip that one?
I: [00:06:50.17] Yeah. Alright, well that concludes our interview. Thank you for joining us.
Interviewee: Isabella August, student
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:07.19] Could you just give me your name, first and last, and spell it, please?
IA: [00:00:13.13] Isabella August, I-s-a-b-e-l-l-a and then A-u-g-u-s-t.
I: [00:00:21.07] Isabella August. Cool. Isabella, what’s some of the things that make you come to school every day?
IA: [00:00:26.06] My mom. To learn and to get a good education.
I: [00:00:36.26] But, what makes you want, like do you got -
IA: [00:00:38.27] Friends, yeah.
I: [00:00:41.21] Any certain of elective classes that you like more than other ones that you’re like, ah I want to come to PE today or I want to go to history today? Pretty much just here?
IA: [00:00:52.11] Here.
I: [00:00:53.12] Yeah. When I say "the arts" what’s some things that come to mind?
IA: [00:00:58.21] Creativity, imagination.
I: [00:01:04.00] Nice. Do you do anything kind of revolving around the arts at all? Either here or at school or when you’re at home?
IA: [00:01:17.25] My elective, digital art.
I: [00:01:20.02] Nice.
IA: [00:01:20.22] Like Photoshop.
I: [00:01:21.24] What are some of the projects they’ve had over this last year with the Photoshop?
IA: [00:01:30.00] So, the first project we ever did, we did Photoshop for the yearbook, we did BMS for Bancroft Middle School and we did 2017 for two thousand seventeen cause that’s when its gonna come out. Starting last Monday that just happened, were gonna start interviewing people about different subjects in school and how they feel on it.
I: [00:01:58.05] Nice. Nice. What does creativity mean to you?
IA: [00:02:10.04] If you're doing arts probably like art stuff like you’ve never seen before, nobody’s ever done.
I: [00:02:21.24] What’s some of the things that ignite your creativity? Do you have any inspirations that you would kind of see and be like oh, that’s cool, I wanna put my own twist on it?
IA: [00:02:34.18] No.
I: [00:02:36.00] Nothing really come to mind? Do you think your school could do anything to inspire you a little bit? Is there certain things that they could put out or incorporate into some of the teaching that involves some of your interests?
IA: [00:02:53.21] I don't think so.
I: [00:02:54.13] Na, alright. Run me some of your interests outside of school. What are you into?
IA: [00:03:00.18] Internet. TV. Basketball. Football.
I: [00:03:10.24] Nice. Do you think you’re getting the most out of your education here? Are there certain classes that you feel like you’d wanna see added?
IA: [00:03:23.05] Yeah, probably Spanish.
I: [00:03:26.02] Spanish? Do you think being at this school so far is safe like you’re in a safe learning environment?
IA: [00:03:36.26] Yeah.
I: [00:03:37.27] Good.
IA: [00:03:38.22] Cause it’s my second year, so.
I: [00:03:40.13] Do you see any opportunities opening up for you down here for what you want for your future?
IA: [00:03:52.06] Not really.
I: [00:03:57.17] So if you could have a dream job, any job ever, you know what I'm sayin'. It's completely no school, just jump right to it, what do you think you would wanna do right now?
IA: [00:04:10.19] WNBA.
I: [00:04:17.21] Women's basketball?
IA: [00:04:19.09] Yeah.
I: [00:04:20.12] Nice.
IA: [00:04:21.02] Women's National Basketball Association.
I: [00:04:24.04] Nice. Would you wanna play or just have any involvement in it? Cause I worked at the arena for a little bit and there’s just tons of different levels that comes into, you know what I'm saying. For example, doing this stuff with yearbook, do you feel like it could prepare you for something like that? Maybe designing jerseys or websites and stuff like that.
IA: [00:04:51.29] Yeah.
I: [00:04:55.10] Cool. Do you think that you’re teachers here are on your team and really help you succeed and look out for your future? Or do you think that they kind of just -
IA: [00:05:04.26] Most. Half and half.
I: [00:05:09.16] Some of them are kind of just, they gotta do a job and teach and stuff -
IA: [00:05:13.25] Yeah. And some of them just like don't even help you.
I: [00:05:19.01] Do you think it’s kind of because how many students could be in the class? You know, so many students for one teacher.
IA: [00:05:25.06] Yeah. Too much to handle maybe, yeah.
I: [00:05:27.29] Do you think school is kind of preparing you for what you want out of life? I know you’re in seventh grade right now, you still got time to figure it out. But, you did say Women's basketball, do they have a good basketball program here for you or do they have a girl’s basketball team?
IA: [00:05:50.13] Yeah.
I: [00:05:51.09] Cool. Did you join?
IA: [00:05:53.27] I tried out but there still two more tryouts.
I: [00:05:58.10] Nice. Nice. Do you feel like you’re getting the education you need to prepare you for adulthood? Which would be like all the bills and extra stuff that isn't in the everyday curriculum.
IA: [00:06:15.16] Yeah.
I: [00:06:16.08] Yeah? Cool. Is there anything else you kind of add about yourself that whoever might listen to this, could help incorporate to the arts education or anything? Na? Cool. Right on. Well, that concludes our interview, Isabella. You are all good to go.
IA: [00:06:37.20] Thank you.
I: [00:06:38.14] Thank you.
IA: [00:06:38.23] Bye.
I: [00:06:39.10] Bye. Have a good one.
Interviewee: Izabella Hearne, student
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:01.07] We're working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools every day across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. May we ask you a few questions?
IH: [00:00:20.04] Yes.
I: [00:00:21.20] May you please state your name and spell it for me, please?
IH: [00:00:26.08] I'm Izabella Hearne. I-z-a-b-e-l-l-a H-e-a-r-n-e.
I: [00:00:33.19] What makes you wanna come to school every day?
IH: [00:00:36.27] I come to school every day because I like learning and learning new things, especially science and history which I like learning about those two subjects the most.
I: [00:00:47.01] Were you here for the science fair today?
IH: [00:00:48.26] I can’t go cause I do gymnastics.
I: [00:00:52.14] Oh. What do the arts mean to you?
IH: [00:00:58.19] A lot because I like drawing every single day and I like painting and everything about art.
I: [00:01:06.07] When I say "the arts" what comes to mind?
IH: [00:01:08.11] I think like drawing and painting and all the paintings that a lot of artists have drawn.
I: [00:01:19.22] OK. Do any do anything after school or during school or weekend stuff, hobbies that you have?
IH: [00:01:33.29] I don't have any clubs but after school I like going to ACIS? and just hanging out there and doing homework and to play with my friends.
I: [00:01:40.19] What do you do in ACIS?
IH: [00:01:42.08] Sometimes I do my homework, I play with my friends, I do cartwheels, I'm in gymnastics and stuff. But, most of all, sometimes I go to the gas station across the street and getting stuff. Except I can't really do that sometimes but most part of it, I come over there to do some homework.
I: [00:02:05.08] What do you think when I say "arts education"?
IH: [00:02:10.16] Arts education. I think about the arts and learning about how to do art cause education means learning, like learning how to draw and paint and all the arts.
I: [00:02:24.18] Does your school include arts education?
IH: [00:02:29.21] They do.
I: [00:02:31.20] What does creativity mean to you?
IH: [00:02:38.06] Creativity means, like let’s say you’re very unique and you like doing a lot of these certain things, you try to do as much of that as you can before you get too old to do all of that.
I: [00:02:49.29] What brings out your creativity, imagination and your passion?
IH: [00:02:54.21] I think about or when I look at a notebook or something I think about just taking that notebook and drawing whatever I feel like it. Causesometimes whenever I draw, people say oh, is that you? Who are you drawing? And I go, I don't know, I’m just drawing random things that I like to draw.
I: [00:03:13.28] Do you feel like you’re getting the most out of your education with being in middle school?
IH: [00:03:19.14] Yes.
I: [00:03:20.05] You do? OK. Not having arts programs in the school, does that affect you in any way? Do you feel like it affects you in any way?
IH: [00:03:30.08] Yeah, kind of because arts are important because some people, they don't really know how to draw and because some people don’t wanna learn how to draw but some people can’t really teach them cause they sometimes they don't have the time.
I: [00:03:44.25] Being in this community do you feel like it’s safe for your learning environment?
IH: [00:03:53.20] Yes.
I: [00:03:54.21] How so?
IH: [00:03:55.28] I’d say like it’s kind of safe because most people around the world don't really think about arts and education about the way that other people feel about it. Some people they're all like, arts is too much work and also say it’s too much a waste of time. But some people think it’s not a waste of time, it’s something they need to learn and something that’s very important to do.
I: [00:04:22.11] Why do you think you need to learn it?
IH: [00:04:23.26] You can learn it because, let’s say you have a report due and it says you have to include drawing and let’s say you don't really know how to draw, you can sometimes ask people, can you help me how to draw? And they can teach you the learning skills on how to draw.
I: [00:04:41.27] Other than just learning how to draw, what else are the benefits of having arts to you personally?
IH: [00:04:50.27] The benefits are really kind of affective in your life because some people like to learn but some people also don't like to learn. But, learning is the most important thing of your whole entire life. Cause some people they don't really know as much but most people, they learn because their teachers or people who teach them, they help them learn all the things that they know today.
I: [00:05:20.06] So, do you still feel like you’re somewhat learning when you are being active in the arts?
IH: [00:05:25.21] Yes.
I: [00:05:26.12] What do you think you’re school can do for you to bring out your creativity?
IH: [00:05:35.01] My school can maybe start a club or they could do random things that include the arts because some people they really like drawing, but they don't have it here. Cause at other schools, like elementary schools, they have drawing. At my old school they had art. except at this school they don't have art because either there’s some classrooms that don’t' allow art or some classroom that people just don't like to have art in their classrooms.
I: [00:06:05.15] They don't like to have art in their class? Like they don’t do any art-related projects?
IH: [00:06:12.15] Yeah.
I: [00:06:13.08] Do you think that changes the environment for all the students?
IH: [00:06:17.13] Yes.
I: [00:06:18.13] How so?
IH: [00:06:19.17] Cause some people, they go into the classrooms and they ask why are there no posters up about some random thing? Cause some classrooms they have just posters up for no reason and it’s like oh, I just like this poster because it speaks to me and it’s very educational and everyone can learn from it. But some classrooms they have no posters, they only have posters of the things that were learning, except that isn't art.
I: [00:06:50.15] Do you feel like it makes the students more comfortable if there’s more artwork on the walls?
IH: [00:06:55.20] Yes.
I: [00:06:57.29] What opportunities have been opening up for you from your education here?
IH: [00:07:04.12] My education is some classes that I have that are very educational but some classes I don't really learn anything. They tell us this but you don't really learn from it.
I: [00:07:17.11] Do you feel like nothing has really benefited you from coming from those classes? Have you gotten any opportunities to go somewhere from being in a certain class?
IH: [00:07:31.13] No.
I: [00:07:33.10] OK. Do you feel like your teachers are helping you succeed?
IH: [00:07:40.09] Yes.
I: [00:07:41.04] How so? What are they doing?
IH: [00:07:44.18] Some teachers, they’re really fun and they try to make learning fun. But, some teachers, they just wanna make people learn, not put any fun into it. it's like here's the basics and since these are the basics you have to learn from the basics and then try to move your way on to get advanced.
I: [00:08:01.15] What do you think your teachers can do to help you?
IH: [00:08:11.28] They could encourage students and say "learning is fun, everyone likes to learn, except for one thing, like don’t goof around." Cause some people they have a lot of fun learning. But some kids they mess around an make that learning not fun again.
I: [00:08:31.24] Is your school relevant to what you want to do in your life?
IH: [00:08:36.21] I guess.
I: [00:08:40.09] How?
IH: [00:08:42.24] Some classes that I have are very unique but some classes are just very boring and bland and they’re not really doing anything.
I: [00:08:56.16] Why do you prefer to be in a classroom that has art on the walls?
IH: [00:09:12.21] Cause an art on the walls, let’s say you can learn from the improvements. Let’s say one poster says E=MC square and has Albert Einstein on it and you can see that E=MC square so it means you can kind of learn on how E=MC squared. Let’s say one poster says "Stop Bullying Now" and you look at it and see someone getting bullied you’re gonna try to stop it.
I: [00:09:39.00] do you feel like the posters are really that affective or people just see them and don't really pay attention to what they actually say?
IH: [00:09:48.08] Kind of like fifty-fifty cause some people they look at the poster and say oh, I can do something with this. And other people they look at the posters and say oh, this isn't what we're learning in class so why do we have to look at it and say why do I have to do anything about it?
I: [00:10:05.08] Why do you think some teachers don't want art in the classrooms?
IH: [00:10:09.22] Cause they think it’s kind of a waste of time. Some teachers don't think that art is kind of like a part of the learning process. Mostly, teachers go like, learning is this and this. So, it doesn't mean that I have to waste my time just putting up all these posters and going, these are the posters that I have, everyone look at them and try to see what it can change. But some teachers go I’m gonna put posters on the wall and say, this is what kids should learn and that’s what they should like.
I: [00:10:58.22] I feel like you’re only in middle school, you’re in sixth grade, so this question is kind of far ahead but do you feel like your education is preparing you for adulthood? Do you feel like you’re learning anything to become an adult? Or preparing you for high school, actually? Do you feel like you’re being prepared for high school?
IH: [00:11:20.29] Yes.
I: [00:11:22.06] What classes are you taking right now to prepare you for high school?
IH: [00:11:28.12] I’m taking choir, PE, science, math, history and English.
I: [00:11:37.00] OK. Do you have any questions? OK. I think that's it. Thank you for your time.
IH: [00:11:49.03] You’re welcome.
Interviewee: Jordan Freitas, teacher
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:02.26] We are working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools every day across Alameda County. We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. Can we ask you a few questions?
JF: [00:00:18.03] Yeah.
I: [00:00:18.19] OK. Can you state your first and last name and spell it, please?
JF: [00:00:22.15] Jordan Freitas. J-o-r-d-a-n F-r-e-i-t-a-s.
I: [00:00:28.22] Jordan, what is some of the things that make you wanna come to school every day?
JF: [00:00:32.28] My kids, for sure. Definitely, it’s hard to come to work in any job every day. But, especially because I'm passionate about my kids, they are what make my actual day go by good. So, definitely just coming to my kids.
I: [00:00:48.29] What does creativity mean to you?
JF: [00:00:54.11] Creativity definitely means to me an outlet how one expresses themselves, like how one can relate their emotions and how they feel in something other than words. I mean, poetry also, you can use it as words and be creative about it. But, just how they express in any shape or form how they feel or how their life is going is creativity to me.
I: [00:01:19.27] Nice. Is there some things that ignite your creativity, imagination or passion?
JF: [00:01:27.14] Definitely, the company I keep. The friends that I have in my circle, cause I’m not like naturally artistic, I could draw stick figures, you know what I mean? I don't paint. I don't do graphic arts. I'm not a big artist in that sense but I picked up modeling a few years back so now the actual outlets and the actual people that I’ve met or gone to meet through this, has definitely sparked my creativity. Definitely made me look at more photography better, colors, you know what I mean. Ideas behind everything a lot more than I would looking just at a picture or just looking at art. It definitely sparked some type of interest beyond that, definitely now that I'm in it.
I: [00:02:10.28] And also we were talking a little bit earlier about some of your experience working and you said you said you were working with retail. Personally me, working retail and stuff like that, I look at clothing outfits, coordination and stuff like that as creativity. Do you see that you can have a connection with that especially with modeling and stuff?
JF: [00:02:38.14] Yeah, for sure. Definitely, like I said, now being in modeling, instead of just looking at oh, this is a pretty picture or that’s a nice color. You definitely look at detail. You definitely look at, especially being in retail now - I work at Guess, one of my visual managers is preparing me to be a visual manager which means OK, what would our clientele like to wear? How do they feel when they wear this? What goes well with it and why? And it definitely answers more questions that you wouldn't even have, like oh, those pants go with that shirt. But, why? Where are they going? How does it flow? How do you think their mood feels when they put this on? So, it's definitely, like I said, an expression of how you feel and its definitely an outlet of letting people know like today I feel this way or today this is my representation of myself. So, clothes are big. Clothes are definitely big.
I: [00:03:28.25] They definitely are. I'm in the same boat with you. What do you think are some of the things that help ignites your students’ creativity?
JF: [00:03:38.10] Just getting to be themselves. Especially during school, I don’t personally know how many electives or art classes or art courses or even art influencers that can come to school, talk to the kids. But, after school, definitely, we make it a point to have that extra time outside, like an enrichment like a cooking class. Or outside of a set organization for them to have creativity time like, what do you want to do? Do you wanna color? Do you wanna paint? Do you wanna just rip up this piece of paper and put it back together in some type of shape or form? And we take that time out in our program specially just to let them have that free range of I'm just gonna do this because I feel like doing it and at the end if it looks like a big jumble of ripped up papers, we look at it like OK, well explain this. You know? How do you feel when you did that? Did you feel good? Is this supposed to be anything? Explain it to me and then it might not be anything but it made them feel good. Might have been like oh, this is a mountain and this is a tree. So we definitely give them that space and that time to be whatever they want and how they want just to get away from the organization of the day of things that they might not even really care about or really have the time to express themselves in math or reading or something.
I: [00:05:02.05] Definitely. That's super, I feel like personally, that’s really important. Just for kids being in class all day and then kind of being able to have that release and that freedom and then also having teachers back them up. And then also on top of that, push them to the next level to have them kind of think a little bit deeper. Super important. Do you think that the schools can kind of do anything better to inspire your creativity or passion here?
JF: [00:05:31.00] Like I said, our after-school programs pretty free range. We’re not really associated with the school since we are employed by San Leandro Boy's and Girl's Club. But, San Leandro Boys and Girls Club has put in place every Thursday to have trainings - we don't have them anymore, but we had this training, so basically - sorry if this taking too long - but, the training was actually one of my best trainings. We would go in and we'd have two teachers come in and they’d teach us, our last training we just had was about art, and they literally had these stations set up for how’d you have in a classroom for a kid. And they're like well, OK, we're just gonna watch you guys play. And we’re like, wait, what? Like grown people in a room we were just like umm, OK. She had boxes of recycled phones and little foam and little bottle caps and a bunch of Barbie heads, just random junk, you know? And then she had books and papers and color books and pens and all this stuff. And I'm just like, wow, as an adult you don't normally just have stations set up for you like this so were like OK, if you're gonna give us time, were gonna get paid to just do nothing, like cool. So, I'm thinking this gonna be super easy, I'm not even gonna make nothing, I’m just gonna sit here and get paid. I ended up making this full-on whole toy-thing and I'm just like, dang we should bring this to our kids. Why don't we have more stations where they get like this set time to go around and paint if they want this section or make a bunch of stuff with all these recycled things, like something they thought was junk that they can turn into art. Or just like paint or draw or whatever, like color. It just definitely brings you back to being a kid, back to what fun it is but in a creative way, you know? So, that one was dope and I think San Leandro Boys and Girls Club, especially makes it a point for all of their teachers and employees to have that time to be a kid again. Because if you don’t have that time to be a kid and be creative, you forget what it’s like and you come here and you don't know how to handle a kid. Because you’re just like oh, art OK, go draw over there. Some teachers are like art, draw or do something. But when you have these trainings like bringing you back to your childhood, you’re like wow, I had so much fun doing this. I’m gonna bring this to my kids cause they’re gonna have just as much fun doing this, you know? And it really made me, cause I’m not artistic at all, come back and I was like today were gonna do this and they had a really good time. But it was like I wanted to do it. I wanted to have that time with them for them to just express themselves. So, it’s definitely they make it a point to bring you back to your childhood and teach you some new things that you could do with your kids and yourself that's just gonna be much funer in the classroom than just the normal OK, color in the lines or something.
I: [00:08:22.03] Yeah, yeah. I think that’s really important. Just to elaborate on what you’re saying for adults to kind of remember what it’s like to create. Just talking about how art can be therapeutic and you don't know what people are going through on a day-to-day and just being expressive and creative. I think some people kind of will limit themselves because they don't think they’re that creative or artistic. But, there’s no right or wrong answer for expressing. I think it’s just important cause adults have a lot on their plate that kids don't have too much that I think that art with adults, you know what I'm saying, these stations that they’re telling you about can kind of help them as a therapy.
JF: [00:09:05.15] Oh, yeah, for sure. Made my day better. I'm like OK, I'm ready to go to work now.
I: [00:09:10.15] That’s good. That’s important. Do you think that they can do anything more here to inspire the students?
JF: [00:09:20.13] We do the best we can. But, I feel like within our program itself, we could do more. Like, we could definitely have something where we’d have all of the kids involved. Cause we do have time for it, we do make time for it but I feel as if the kids need time, the ones like you said, that don't feel super artistically inclined to do something, they have that time to OK, well now I want everybody to include themselves. Not just the normal ones that would if we offer it, I want everybody to be included in it. I feel like the school and us both, should make it a point to have certain classes or certain clubs or certain times where they include everybody or just try to include as many people as people. Or make it to the point where they kind of - what’s the word? - it’s not like bribing, but it’s trying to tell as many kids like hey, if you come here, you can definitely see what we have. But really not tell them as much so then everybody will come and they end up staying because they wanna be there. Just like kind of reaching out to everybody. Like the sports boys that would never go in there. The little girls like Izabella that might just watch TV all day. Kind of give them more of an incentive or more of a push just to come see it and then they might love it, you know? So, more including the entire school instead of just saying we have art club, come after school at this time if you’re interested. Cause then maybe ten people out of the entire school will come for the club. but the people who could really benefit from it, would never even show up to that classroom.
I: [00:10:59.17] Yeah. Cause the kids wanna go home and get out.
JF: [00:11:03.19] So definitely make it more known. Just have the teachers excited about it, have more staff excited about it so then the kids will get excited about it and actually wanna see what it’s all about.
I: [00:11:15.14] What did you wanna accomplish when you started signing up for this job? What was your main drive for it?
JF: [00:11:20.08] I’m going to school to be a counselor and a therapist so I definitely with just - I’m young, so just with my background in general and my experiences in life, I was definitely like I can't just keep all this knowledge to myself. I feel as if, when I was younger, I didn't have nobody to talk to. I didn't have nobody to confide in or ask for any advice on things that I could have really used. So now I definitely make it a point to my kids like, I'm here, you can basically tell me anything you would like. I always tell them obviously with my job title, if I feel somethings important I have to tell my boss. But at the end of the day, everything is for their benefit. Everything is for me and them as a older person or sibling to some of them it’s like oh, you're like a older sister. I try to make it a point where they’re comfortable enough to come to me and ask for advice or tell me things that they can’t tell people at home or have nobody to tell and that was my main goal. Making kids feel as comfortable as possible to relay their problems or their happiness. anything that they want to somebody that will just listen and understand.
I: [00:12:34.05] Right and that super important. I feel that with the kids being at this age group and most teachers being at this age group, there’s kind of a distance so they don’t exactly trust a lot of their teachers. Or they feel like they’re gonna get in trouble or something like that. So, it’s very important place you’re at a good age that you can, like you said, connect with the teacher and then connect with the student on both levels.
JF: [00:13:01.24] Yeah, for sure.
I: [00:13:02.09] What do you see as being the role of arts education with young people?
JF: [00:13:15.25] The role? I just feel as if it’s just a way - I mean, it’s put in place for kids to, like I said, just have an outlet. A different kind of outlet that they can just express themselves through.
I: [00:13:32.04] Do you think that the kids are getting an education here to kind of prepare them for adulthood? Like, I said, like the taxes and the extra stuff?
JF: [00:13:43.28] I also did the DTD program through the boys and girls club, which is a Diploma to Degree program, which we told them all about that. But I’m not too positive what, at Bancroft Middle School that they have in place for them. They might, I've heard some of them talk about college preparation in the classes that they have. But, like you said, real life things, that's why I wanted to work at that program so bad because yeah, they tell you, you can get a loan and you can go to school and you can get a good job. But, do they tell you, what do you expect in your dorm room when you’re on college campus? What do you need? I had a whole thing about create your own dorm room. Like name five things that you couldn’t live without. OK, now name your dream job. Now name really what you’re actually gonna get and what the job you’re really gonna get atthis age. If you’re working at Champs, are you gonna have a flat screen TV in your dorm? I don't think so. I mean, how much is Champs really making? Let’s look into their hourly pay. How much are you really getting? Are you gonna be spending your money wisely on Jordan’s every weekend? I don’t think so. Let’s start thinking like adults. You need to put into perspective like you can’t talk at them and you can’t talk about OK, well this is how you get a scholarship and this is how you apply and this is where you go to college. OK, next. And this is the test you take.
I: [00:15:02.20] And then that’s kind of the cut-off and stuff like that.
JF: [00:15:05.02] Exactly. I mean, they’re prepared to take tests, they’re prepared to look into it and that’s a very important part, the financial and the scholarships and the tests that they need to take, but also put into place actual things. Like first jobs, how to go about first jobs. Everything. Everything else that they don't teach you.
I: [00:15:26.12] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Cause we're young now but it’s definitely once you hit eighteen, nineteen, there’s some wake up calls that come in, you know? That I think when spending all this time with the kids, it’d be nice to introduce that at a younger age and kind of treat them like adults, you know what I'm saying? I think part of it is that kids kind of get underestimated because their age and stuff like that.
JF: [00:15:49.15] For sure. Highly. I’ve even had kids in the DTD program tell me, yeah well Ms. Jordan they tell us about how we to apply for scholarships and tests we take and all this statistics but what happens when were in college? Tell us the fun stuff. You know what I mean? They wanna know why should we go take this test? Why should we even go to this college? What are they offering? I'm like see, they tell you all of the statistics and yes, the hard work that it does take to get in, which is a very important part of college cause you’re thereto learn. But, at the end of the day, it doesn't excite them to want to got to four more years of school if you’re just talking at them about here is what you need to do, you need to do this, this and this and tests and tests and tests and homework and all this stuff. Cause I love college. College, the way they made it seem when I was younger, was like oh, you need to pass all these tests and get good grades and then you’ll get your degree. Mine now is I have great electives, I have great things that I want to learn about but I’m also taking the time to get my math and my science together as well. But, if I was only just talked at and not learned like oh, we do have other outlets at college that you get to actually pick because you’re an adult now, I never would have even went. I would have been like oh, college is just another four more years of high school? No, I'm cool. You know?
I: [00:17:09.00] Where you going to college at?
JF: [00:17:10.10] San Francisco City. Cause I’m one of those ones that took a year off which I should have took a year off after high school. And then I’ve been working three jobs. so, I'm like back-to-back job and then class. I’m burnt out right now. I’m like city college is fine for me until I get it done.
I: [00:17:28.04] Yeah, yeah. That's good. It’s a lot to juggle.
JF: [00:17:31.01] Oh yeah, for sure. I’m just like trying to get it done so then I can transfer by the end of this, yeah, 2016.
I: [00:17:36.21] Where do you wanna go?
JF: [00:17:37.17] Actually, New York. I don't know yet but three different schools - like my best friend went to St. John's, there’s two other schools that I’m looking at cause they have good counseling program.
I: [00:17:47.28] Nice. Cool. Alright, Jordan, that concludes our interview. Was there anything else you wanted to add or just kind of throw in there?
JF: [00:17:56.05] No. Hopefully, what you guys are doing is really cool. Hopefully, you guys will put in place more programs or even different classes during the day or after school that these kids can get into. Definitely like I said going about talking to kids as a mentor rather than as a parent, is definitely the way to go. Explaining to them why you’re trying to do this for them and how it can make them feel better is always the best way. Just because, with my experience with kids, trying to talk at them, you need to do this because of this or were trying to give you art because - you know what I mean? Cause some people don't know how to apply it very well. Me, it’s like I stumbled upon it and loved it and now the people that talked to me about art, is passionate about it. So, if you guys are passionate about art, definitely keep doing it and get more people that are passionate it as you guys are.
I: [00:18:55.02] Cool. Awesome. Thank you, Jordan.
JF: [00:18:57.23] You’re welcome.
I: [00:18:58.15] 'Preciate your time and your feedback.
Interviewee: Reagan Sercu, student
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:06.03] Hi. What’s your name?
RS: [00:00:07.02] My name is Reagan, R-e-a-g-a-n. Sercu, S-e-r-c-u.
I: [00:00:14.01] Nice to meet you.
RS: [00:00:15.13] Nice to meet you.
I: [00:00:16.16] This is the arts and creativity for the love of school and a better future campaign. We are interviewing you - We are working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools everyday across Alameda County. We would love hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really really works for you and your school. Can we ask you a few questions?
RS: [00:00:43.23] Mmm-hmm.
I: [00:00:44.02] Alright. What makes you want to go to school every day?
RS: [00:00:48.25] Well, not only am I forced to but I guess that my friends are cool and some of the classes I like, even though the teachers are really strict. The teachers can have their good sides if you learn to know them enough. And it’s fun to hang out with your friends. Also, they have a good library.
I: [00:01:22.09] Is there anything that would help you want to attend more? Like, what would make school more fun for you?
RS: [00:01:47.10] I guess our schools on a pretty tight budget so it would be fun if we could have a campaign where we could get more money because if we don’t have enough money then we won’t be able to do stuff, I guess.
I: [00:02:05.23] Understandable. When I say "the arts" what comes to mind?
RS: [00:02:10.06] Arts can really be anything. You could have arts where you draw and then you could have arts like making statues and sculptures and stuff.
I: [00:02:36.09] Yeah. Do you do any of these things in school? Do you do any arts at school? Any dancing, singing, drawing? Or at home or at a after-school program?
RS: [00:02:50.22] At home I draw. Then - wait, can I get the question again?
I: [00:03:03.27] Do you do any arts art school or after school in a program or at home? And when I say "arts" it could be anything from singing, dancing, to drawing, and painting and stuff.
RS: [00:03:19.04] I play the Cello. I draw after school and at home. Then I go to a club where I draw.
I: [00:03:32.00] What do you think of when I say "arts education"?
RS: [00:03:37.28] I think of an art class.
I: [00:03:40.28] Does your include arts education?
RS: [00:03:44.12] Kind of.
I: [00:03:47.12] Kind of? What does creativity mean to you?
RS: [00:03:52.17] Creativity. Not being strained in doing whatever you want to, I guess.
I: [00:04:06.22] Alright. What do you think ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?
RS: [00:04:16.11] Well, sometimes when I close my eyes, I see certain things, like it kind of helps me focus on what I'd like to draw or what I’ve done or really anything, like ideas, storylines, anything. So I guess - I don't know. Just walking around places, looking at things can help me grab ideas.
I: [00:04:51.09] What can your school do to inspire your creativity?
RS: [00:04:54.26] Hmmm. I guess having more paintings on the wall cause they don’t have as many things as I’d like.
I: [00:05:17.14] So, more murals and stuff, more art to look at?
RS: [00:05:19.18] Hmm-mmm.
I: [00:05:22.25] Do you think you’re getting the most out of your education?
RS: [00:05:24.24] No. I think you’re the first person to ever say so quickly, that I kind of agree with you. Cause of the educational system definitely could be better.
I: [00:05:40.29] Do you believe you are in a safe learning community?
RS: [00:05:45.18] Kind of.
I: [00:05:50.02] Do you want to explain more on that?
RS: [00:05:52.03] Well, San Leandro isn't really exactly the safest place on the earth, especially being next to Oakland. Also, at schools there’s bullies so that can also distract. Then you have to balance your social along with your grades. And bad grades can stress out your lives. So.
I: [00:06:17.14] What opportunities are opening up for you from your education? If you want me to interpret more upon that, like what do you think with the learning that you’ve gotten so far, do you think any of it has opened you up for opportunities like job opportunities or something you might wanna do when you’re older? Like, music or anything like that?
RS: [00:06:41.29] Well, yes. With having so many choices in the world it kind of makes it a bit hard to find something you like.
I: [00:06:56.05] True. Do your teachers help you succeed?
RS: [00:07:01.08] Kind of.
I: [00:07:07.28] Is school relevant to what you want out of life?
RS: [00:07:13.23] No.
I: [00:07:16.19] What would make it more relevant?
RS: [00:07:20.09] First of all, I don't really like it how in schools they talk about all these complicated math formulas but they don’t really talk about taxes or laws or your human rights or things like that.
I: [00:07:41.25] Do you feel like you’re getting the education you need to prepare for adulthood?
RS: [00:07:45.27] No.
I: [00:07:47.29] Alright. That ends the interview. Thank you for joining us.
Interviewee: Ross Lim, After-school program leader
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:02.24] We are working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all school every day across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. May we ask you a few questions?
RL: [00:00:21.22] Sure.
I: [00:00:22.17] Can you please state your name and spell it for me, please?
RL: [00:00:25.03] My name is Ross, R-o-s-s. And my last name? Lim, L-i-m.
I: [00:00:31.00] You said you’re a teacher?
RL: [00:00:33.23] Yes. I'm the after-school program. I work with the after-school program.
I: [00:00:37.21] Do you work during the school day too?
RL: [00:00:41.05] A little bit, yeah. But not the whole day.
I: [00:00:44.29] OK. What makes you wanna come to school every single day?
RL: [00:00:49.19] To learn and grow as a person. To interact with other kids and teachers. Just to be out in the world and experience everything.
I: [00:01:05.14] OK. What does creativity mean to you?
RL: [00:01:08.29] Creativity means to have your own opinion, your own thoughts and try to share that with everyone, not just for you, but for everyone to see.
I: [00:01:27.03] What do you feel brings out your creativity and imagination and your passion for things?
RL: [00:01:35.01] Can you say that one more time?
I: [00:01:39.26] What brings out your creativity, and your imagination and your passion?
RL: [00:01:47.00] Just the thought process. Just using your brain.
I: [00:01:52.29] So, just sitting there and going through your own thought something may come to mind and bring out that creativity oh, maybe I should do this -
RL: [00:02:01.06] Exactly. Exactly that. I agree.
I: [00:02:03.26] What do you feel brings out your students' creativity and imagination and passion?
RL: [00:02:10.10] I feel like if they’re not pressured or stress-free maybe they can have a good, clear mind and they can really focus on their creativity. There’s so much things in the media and all that. Yeah, if they just had some space, positive space and just a place for them to be creative and no boundaries or anything like that.
I: [00:02:39.17] And what do you think that it’s - like, give an example.
RL: [00:02:45.14] Maybe like a room that’s quiet. Maybe if you need your personal space to be creative that’s always there for them. Just somewhere that they can feel comfortable in.
I: [00:03:04.17] What can your school do better to inspire you and bring out your creativity?
RL: [00:03:12.01] Maybe have a bigger voice in the school. Maybe having a real room to have that space for us. Like I said, we're mainly the after-school program so we don't really have our own space but we use what we can. Just our own space would be nice.
I: [00:03:41.16] You don’t just want to share your opinion, you actually want to be heard and actually be taken into consideration?
RL: [00:03:46.06] Definitely. Yeah, I mean, if there’s a space that we could put up stuff that'd be great and show our stuff, our creativity. That’d be nice too. More visual things would be great.
I: [00:04:00.24] How many students do you have come to after-school program?
RL: [00:04:04.17] We range to eighty to a hundred a day.
I: [00:04:09.26] OK. Do you think that being able to put up some stuff would allow more kids to come?
RL: [00:04:18.00] Yeah. Like I said, if we could show what we do in the after-school program with arts especially. If we have projects we could definitely show them what we're doing. And yeah, we could definitely get more kids in the after-school program.
I: [00:04:37.13] OK. What do you think the school can do to bring out your students creativity?
RL: [00:04:43.11] Maybe have more assemblies and presentings that they do within the class, not just in the class and make it the whole school now what classes are doing. And their voices can be heard and show them what they’re capable of.
I: [00:05:09.15] You feel like the students really want to display their creativity?
RL: [00:05:14.17] I think everyone should display their creativities, not just the students.
I: [00:05:19.08] OK. So teachers and staff?
RL: [00:05:21.10] Yeah, for sure. For sure.
I: [00:05:23.26] That’s great. I think that gets everybody involved in it. Make the students feel more comfortable and help them get to know people around them -
RL: [00:05:32.14] And that’s why I like the after-school program because they’re not just sitting in a desk and listening to a teacher. They can actually express themselves. We get to see a whole different side of it. And they are creative and they want to be loud or they wanna show what they can really do rather than just maybe sitting in a desk and learn from just one person.
I: [00:06:00.08] What do you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a teacher? And were you able to achieve that with your students?
RL: [00:06:11.02] My goal coming into my work is to have a safe place for our kids to be creative and to express how they really feel. Or if they’re having a bad day, they can express that. Or if they need to do homework, they can havea place to do homework. Or if they want to do art, they can do art and have a safe place and be creative.
I: [00:06:43.16] OK. Why did you want to become a teacher?
RL: [00:06:47.26] I love working with the youth. It's a new generation. They need to learn good values from an adult yet, they need to learn how to grow by themselves and take into consideration everything.
I: [00:07:09.02] Do you use arts in your classroom?
RL: [00:07:13.22] Personally me, I do not. But, like I said, our program does do that. I’m pretty sure you’re going to be interviewing her as well, but yeah, we do do arts.
I: [00:07:23.11] What do you do?
RL: [00:07:24.16] I do the sports.
I: [00:07:25.25] Sports, OK.
RL: [00:07:27.10] I do sports. But sports is creative too as well. All subjects are creative in their own ways.
I: [00:07:35.06] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?
RL: [00:07:41.12] I think art is great for just everyone in general. It makes you just have an imagination of what your view is as a person in this world, you know? You can express yourself any way possible.
I: [00:08:05.01] OK. Can you say more about the sports and how they are creative?
RL: [00:08:17.09] In sports, you have your individual but yet, you have to be in a team. And being your own person and creativity within the team helps the team and you can also learn from everyone. And then that’s how you can bond and grow as people.
I: [00:08:41.15] OK. Comparing that to arts, can you say how a situation in doing art, how would that be similar to what you just said? Does that make sense? I don't know. You said it builds teamwork and you said brings out individuality -
RL: [00:09:15.00] Yeah. Individuals with their own creativity but you have to bring in as one to be -
I: [00:09:19.20] Yes. An art setting, like if were doing painting or sculpting or whatever, how is that similar -
RL: [00:09:26.06] Oh, definitely. There’s definitely teamwork and you can relate to sports and art. If you have a art project, you have to be on the same page, you have to know what’s going on, who’s doing what. What both of you guys decide to do, what you like or what you don't like. You just have to be on the same page, creative-wise, on the same level -
I: [00:09:51.19] Especially when it’s a team project -
RL: [00:09:53.05] Especially when it’s a team project cause you have one goal. And everyone’s creative in their own ways so it’s challenging. But once you get it done, it feels so good, you know? I think you can relate to it.
I: [00:10:10.20] Do you have any questions?
RL: [00:10:13.27] Are we good?
I: [00:10:17.01] Yes.
RL: [00:10:17.27] Thank you so much.
I: [00:10:18.09] Thank you.
RL: [00:10:19.18] Have a good time. Good luck.
(background noise, chit chat)
Sophia Del Rio
Interviewee: Sophia Del Rio, student
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
I: [00:00:00.26] Can you say your name and spell it out, please?
SD: [00:00:02.25] Like my full name? Sophia Del Rio. S-o-p-h-i-a D-e-l R-i-o.
I: [00:00:11.15] Thank you. We are working with leaders from the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all school every day across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. Can we ask you a few questions?
SD: [00:00:26.10] Mmm-hmm.
I: [00:00:28.12] What makes you want to go to school every day?
SD: [00:00:30.16] To see my friends.
I: [00:00:45.15] When I say "the arts" what comes to mind?
SD: [00:00:47.22] I guess like a lot of colors, sculptures and things and stuff.
I: [00:00:57.22] Do you do any of these things in school, after school, at home or in a after-school program?
SD: [00:01:03.24] Well, what do you mean by that?
I: [00:01:10.04] Do you do arts at home, at school, after school?
SD: [00:01:12.24] Yeah. I have a couple of sketchbooks that I haven’t finished and then I already started another one and I have a lot of art supplies.
I: [00:01:24.05] What do you think of when I say "arts education"?
SD: [00:01:29.16] Like teaching people how to be better at art.
I: [00:01:39.28] What do you mean being better at art?
SD: [00:01:41.18] Sometimes people are really talented in it or like drawing or sculpting or painting. And people can help them get better by giving them advice or tips on how to get better.
I: [00:02:00.22] Does your school include arts education?
SD: [00:02:04.09] When we do projects, sometimes we have to draw in it. Like in this history project I'm doing now, we have to draw a map and we have to color the maps.
I: [00:02:17.08] What does creativity mean to you?
SD: [00:02:20.21] Creativity means to me is that like, getting to express yourself or something.
I: [00:02:34.22] Express yourself how, do you think?
SD: [00:02:37.01] Like I guess in any way you want though art.
I: [00:02:51.04] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?
SD: [00:02:55.08] I really like to listen to music and some songs give me inspiration to draw stuff. Or if I can't think of anything I want to draw, then sometimes I'll go outside and look outside. I like looking at the sunsets cause they’re' really pretty. I like all the colors.
I: [00:03:18.27] What can your school do to inspire your creativity?
SD: [00:03:22.21] Maybe in the extra-curricular classes or have some kind of things after school.
I: [00:03:38.24] Do you think you’re getting the most out of your education?
SD: [00:03:40.23] Yeah, I think so.
I: [00:03:43.28] Can you explain what do you think that the schools are doing to help you get the most?
SD: [00:03:47.00] Here at my school they have two programs after-school where you can go do your homework in a quiet place and you get help by different teachers.
I: [00:04:02.01] They offer a lot of support, you think?
SD: [00:04:03.05] Yeah.
I: [00:04:04.20] Do you believe that you are in a safe learning community? And by safe, I mean do you feel you’re safe emotionally, physically and mentally?
SD: [00:04:12.28] Yeah.
I: [00:04:15.22] What opportunities are opening up from your education? So, like has anything that the schools done for you made job opportunities do you think?
SD: [00:04:25.09] I feel like a lot of my teachers here have, I guess pushed me more into getting my grades better. I have joined sports here and even the coaches tell us and push us to be better in our grades.
I: [00:04:51.25] What do you think made that happen?
SD: [00:04:55.28] I think all the teachers, a lot of them say that they see maybe something different in us and want us to see us succeed and do better or something.
I: [00:05:24.02] Do your teachers help you succeed?
SD: [00:05:27.26] Yeah, a lot of them do.
I: [00:05:31.10] Is it like the fact that they’re pushing you is what’s making you feel successful?
SD: [00:05:36.01] Yeah.
I: [00:05:37.24] Is school relevant to what you want out of life?
SD: [00:05:41.01] Yeah, I guess.
I: [00:05:46.02] What is it that you want out of life?
SD: [00:05:48.00] To have a lot of friends and I guess get a good job. My parents always tell me that they want me to do better than what they did. And I feel like all of the teachers, and also my parents, are pushing me and helping me succeed in that.
I: [00:06:12.10] What do you need from school to make that happen?
SD: [00:06:17.05] I guess for teachers to help us learn a subject better. If we don't understand it, then they explain it in maybe a different way.
I: [00:06:35.17] Do you feel you are getting the education you need to prepare you for becoming an adult?
SD: [00:06:40.20] Yeah, I do. Sometimes my teachers put real life situations into what we’re learning. And I think maybe that helps us better. They always tell us that what were learning now is gonna help us in high school or college.
I: [00:07:08.05] Alright, thank you. That concludes this interview.
Valentin Del Rio
Interviewee: Valentin Del Rio, Principal
Interview Location: Bancroft Middle School
Date: December 08, 2016
(Background noise, chit chat)
I: [00:00:50.05] We are working with leaders from around the county to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all schools every day across Alameda County. We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so we can make a plan that really works for you and your school. Can we ask you a few questions?
VD: [00:01:12.28] Oh, yes, of course.
I: [00:01:15.01] Can you please say your name and spell it for me, please?
VD: [00:01:17.26] Valentin Del Rio. V-a-l-e-n-t-i-n Del Rio, D-e-l R-i-o.
I: [00:01:25.07] Thank you. What makes you want to come to school every day?
VD: [00:01:29.04] What makes me want to school every day is I think the reason why I got into education, trying to help students, support students, help students be successful academically and socially. Just ensure that they have the resources and the support that they need that they may not get at a different school or have gotten before. Just trying to give them everything. I try to look at my life too and what I didn’t get in my life and the support I wish I got in my life and the advice. And being a principal too, talking with the kids. Like, when I was going to school, I didn’t know my principals and I try to be that principal that my students know and can go to and can rely on.
I: [00:02:23.23] Do you feel like your accomplishing that?
VD: [00:02:26.02] I do. I do, actually. Being in education for over eighteen years, I think, looking back at my students - of course it’s easier to say with the ones that are in college now- I taught in Oakland and taught here in San Leandro, I have a lot of students that are in college so I feel like that that’s a piece of data that shows the impact that maybe I've had. But, then I've also seen the students that have struggled. I’ve also seen the students that struggle just to maneuver through school. And being able to see them either come here or leave and go to the high school and hear the success they’re having there, it’s rewarding.
I: [00:03:11.03] Do you think that you’re in an environment that helps you succeed in that way?
VD: [00:03:16.01] Yeah, I feel like I am in an environment that helps us succeed that way, not only because of the people I work with, I think a lot of the people that I work with feel the same as I do about supporting students. I think I probably should have said that in the beginning, that's probably something that makes me come to work every day. I love the people that I work with because we have the same values and we have the same goals for our students. And then as a principal, I also have the opportunity to hire teachers that believe in the same things that I do. So, when it comes to hiring teachers, I feel like I have a big impact on the school because I bring in teachers or not even teachers, if I bring in a custodian that wants to work hard for the students. Or I hire a parent facilitator that goes out of their way for our students, I feel like I'm able to have that impact there as well.
I: [00:04:13.27] What does creativity mean to you?
VD: [00:04:17.02] Ooh, that’s a hard one. I’m not that creative. (Laughter) Creativity, I feel like means allowing oneself to explore and find things that suits you in your life and is gonna support you in your life to reach your goals. There’s different routes that you could take so being creative could be different routes. All students don’t have to go to school and go to college or go to go to school and take these certain classes. We want to support that creativity as far as students being able to make their choices that will lead them to be successful and have their own choices.
I: [00:05:05.06] What brings out your creativity, imagination or passion? Even though you may have a lack of -
VD: [00:05:11.24] (laughter) Wow. I think sports do. I'm very competitive so trying to be competitive and finding ways to win and creating those ways to be able to win whether winning outside at a game, its winning being able to reach a student or to support a family in being creative. Being competitive in that way where I'm competing to be the best at helping all the families here and the students. I think that brings out my creativity like how can I reach this family? What am I not doing? And be able to reflect and see what else I can do to better myself.
I: [00:06:01.04] What do you think brings out your students creativity and imagination?
VD: [00:06:07.12] I think it’s the relationships that maybe they build with their teachers and the trust that they have with teachers to allow them to be creative and there’s not always just one cut-and-dry answer. There’s different ways to solve a math problem. There’s different ways to write a five paragraph essay, it’s not always just on one topic or the teacher chooses, it could be like in areas where the students get to choose. But, I think it’s the trust, the relationships that help to build the trust so the students know they can be successful.
I: [00:06:49.19] OK. So what can your school do to inspire you bring out -
VD: [00:06:55.07] What can my school do to inspire me? Wow. What do you mean?
I: [00:07:04.10] Inspire -
VD: [00:07:06.05] What do you mean, what can they do?
I: [00:07:08.22] Like, what can they do to inspire your creativity? What can they do to bring a new thought to you to make the school better?
VD: [00:07:31.04] I like to lead by example so when I’m here being dedicated to my job and my school, if the teachers and the people that are working here are doing the same thing. And I keep my open door, I always have my door open for anyone to walk in and have conversations with people that work here and through the conversations we develop ideas. I'm not the kind of principal that I just tell everybody what to do, you need to do this, you need to be here at this time. I like to collaborate and get ideas from other people cause everyone comes with their own experiences. Especially in education, there’s people that have taught in a lot of different areas, have different backgrounds. Those are the kinds of things that I feel inspire me - is that the question you asked? To inspire me to when I allow other staff members to take on that lead role and support them to be successful -
I: [00:08:39.14] Them? Putting themselves in the lead role can inspire you to become a better principal?
VD: [00:08:47.21] Yeah, I think so. That’s what we try to do. I hope my vice-principals want to become a principal so that’s ??? I’m hoping that they see what I'm doing and the changes that they can hopefully make will inspire them to be a principal. Or to teachers, like tonight we have family science night, so we have the whole science department that's been working for a few months now. Those kind of things inspire me cause I see them working hard and all the families are gonna come tonight and see all these wonderful science experiments or presentations. When the teachers and staff members take on leadership roles.
I: [00:09:31.08] What can your school to inspire your teachers?
VD: [00:09:35.23] What can my school? My school, I think it goes back to what I talked about with the students. It's like trust. The people here can trust that I will support them inspires them to want to do better at their job. Also, with me recognizing our staff members for doing great jobs, we all like ??? I don't care how old you are, everyone likes to hear that you’re doing a good job or appreciation. So, being able to appreciate them I think will inspire them to do more.
I: [00:10:20.19] Do you any of your teachers integrate the arts into the classrooms?
VD: [00:10:27.16] I think a lot of our teachers integrate arts into the classrooms. We just had our history teacher had the students recite the pre-amble. He allowed them to sing it, not just recite it. He had students go up and sing the pre-amble. And then of course we have the other kind of arts, we have digital graphic arts, now, especially with technology. We have science teachers that are allowing kids to use animation to express themselves and to do their assignments. We have project-based learning where students are working on different projects that require the arts be integrated. it’s really starting to take off here.
I: [00:11:18.10] OK. Do you think that makes a difference, other than the normal way to do it?
VD: [00:11:23.20] Oh, yeah, definitely. Because not everyone’s like me, I'm not the greatest artist so when I can maybe do some of the other planning and someone who has the artistic perspective can come bring that in and express their ?? When students can express their assignments with the arts, maybe they’re not the best writer, but in the end you want them to learn whatever your teaching. And you want them to be able to produce something that lets you know that they have learned whatever you’re trying to teach. So whether it’s in an artistic way, whether it’s writing it down, whether it’s typing it. The creativity, I think, there’s different ways to learn so I think the arts actually support students who don’t - I don't want to say normal way of learning, but just the way that everyone’s been brought up to think that learning is just writing down on a piece of paper A, B, C, multiple choice, let’s turn it in. Did you learn what I taught, you know? There’s other ways to express what you’ve learned.
I: [00:12:32.11] OK. What do you see as being the arts in educating young people?
VD: [00:12:37.03] Just allowing students to express themselves in different ways. Allowing students to voice who they are and where they come from. A lot of times, students don’t feel included in school because they don’t feel they have a voice or they’re not able to tell their story. And so, I think being able to use the arts to express themselves I think connects them more to school and they want them to be here so they can be successful.
I: [00:13:15.18] Do you really feel like students are actually able to voice their opinion or people just say that to you to make it sound flattering, better than it actually is?
VD: [00:13:26.16] I think in education, especially in San Leandro, I think we’re moving in that direction, I'm not gonna say it’s a hundred percent. In every classroom, of course it’s gonna be different. But, we are definitely trying to train our teachers to, or not train them, but teach them to let students have a voice. I've seen through different assignments where students do have a voice. So, like I said, it’s not a hundred percent. Like you said, I know it sounds cliché that they have a voice but we listen. We listen to the students. Something as simple as hey, can we play music on Fridays out on the field? Something simple like that. Alright, we get a boom box and brought a boom box on Fridays, you know, we got the kids out there listening to music and dancing and making decisions for the school. I have kids on our school site council so we have student representatives that are on our school site council that are supporting us to make decisions with our budget. We sit around as adults or as educators and then we have these questions, where can our money best be spent? Or how’s this program going? And then we say oh, we think it’s going great or we think it’s going this way and then we say he, let’s ask the students how it’s really going. We do as much as we can to give our students a voice.
I: [00:14:55.28] Have you ever been a teacher before?
VD: [00:14:58.07] Yes.
I: [00:14:59.02] OK. Have you taught at high schools?
VD: [00:15:01.24] I taught elementary school.
I: [00:15:03.04] You taught at an elementary school. OK. What school district was it?
VD: [00:15:08.09] I taught in Oakland and I taught here in San Leandro. I taught fifth grade.
I: [00:15:12.29] OK. Do you feel like those two school districts are completely different?
VD: [00:15:18.25] Yes. Well, of course, Oakland because of its size it’s a lot bigger than San Leandro. I think in San Leandro, because of the size, it’s easier to make change. Because there’s not as many people that you need to convince. It’s easier for finding people that share your idea cause when you have a thousand versus a hundred, you know, with a thousand people then it’s gonna be a lot of different opinions. But, I think Oakland is very progressive. I think, when I made the switch from Oakland to San Leandro, I was like learning things as a teacher in San Leandro, I go oh, we already did that in Oakland, you guys are behind, you know? I think Oakland is very progressive but it’s hard to see the changes in Oakland because it’s so big. You go to school by school, you can see things happening and things moving in the direction that me, as a teacher, where I would want to work. But, then it’s like you come over here to San Leandro and you see things that like whoa, what are you doing? Or you see things that need to be more progressive, right? I feel like San Leandro has made a lot of changes to being more progressive.
I: [00:16:45.29] OK. Do you feel like the art program here is different from art programs in Oakland in the schools?
VD: [00:16:53.11] That's a hard question because I seen a lot of great things at the San Leandro High School with their ??? Academy and what they’re doing there. But, at the same time, I see other great things happening. We got a chance to tour Skyline and I know friends that have gone to Oakland Tech. I only know from high school perspectives. I know here, I didn’t know a lot about the middle schools in Oakland, but I know here we offer digital arts class, we offer different - We have Bancroft Musical Theater here. We have choir here. So, I don’t' know. I think we, here, I could probably only speak for here, our school here, and maybe and I guess at John Muir, the other middle school, it’s just hard to compare. It’s hard because I don't know the middle schools so I don't wanna speak like I know their schools.
I: [00:18:01.27] OK. How important do you think the arts are in the school environment?
VD: [00:18:10.13] Very important. I think (inaudible) about -
I: [00:18:20.07] It was more about creativity.
VD: [00:18:22.13] Yeah, creative arts. Arts in general so -
I: [00:18:27.27] Yeah, like arts classes like a diverse, a wide range of different classes involving the arts, not just painting, not in just saying that you have art.
VD: [00:18:40.11] Not just drawing, painting. Yeah, no, no, no. I think a lot of the arts, I mean in our society, arts drive society. And not just like, you think about entertainment or you think about different companies with how they’re using art to run their companies. Kids need to learn now, students need to learn now because I think that’s part of the future generation. You know, being able to be - how do you say, just have a wide range of perspectives and a wide range of abilities. I think that’s what arts brings to the school. More well-rounded than just the book smart person. When you’re more well-rounded in the end gives you more opportunities. You have students you know maybe they just like drawing. I've seen some of my students now, they do digital graphics for advertising companies. So, it just gives them more, I think it increases their resumes and choices when they get out to the real world.
I: [00:20:01.09] OK. Thank you for your time.
VD: [00:20:03.01] Alright. You’re welcome. Thank you guys for the work you’re doing. Good luck and I hope you guys are getting what you need. I don't know how many schools you guys are interviewing but hopefully your project gets your goals. I mean, something like this, I never had this when I was in middle school or high school. So, I'm old. (laughter) Thank you guys.