Wood Middle School Listening Campaign Transcripts

Adam Hoepker

Interviewee: Adam Hoepker, student

Interviewer: unknown

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

I: [00:00:01.18] Hello. Can you spell your name for me, please?

AH: [00:00:03.09] Adam, A-d-a-m, H-o-e-p-k-e-r, Hoepker.

I: [00:00:09.00] 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?

AH: [00:00:39.10] Yes.

I: [00:00:40.12] What makes you wanna go to school every day?

AH: [00:00:46.03] I guess to learn, that’s why I go to school.

I: [00:00:52.25] Well, it’s OK if you don't like going to school.

AH: [00:00:56.22] I do.

I: [00:00:57.09] You do? OK, cool. When I say "the arts" what comes to mind?


AH: [00:01:11.20] My sixth period class cause I'm in advanced art. That’s really what comes to mind. I'm not good at it, though.

I: [00:01:22.17] You’re in advanced art?

AH: [00:01:23.23] Yeah, I'm not that good.

I: [00:01:25.26] Liar. Do you do any of these things in school, in an after-school or weekend program or at home?

AH: [00:01:40.03] What?

I: [00:01:47.26] Do you do any of these things in an after-school or weekend program or at home? Meaning any of the arts, drawing, painting, you know, dancing, singing, all those things.

AH: [00:01:58.29] Yeah. I do my art homework at home, my reflections and stuff. I save that for at home.

I: [00:02:06.11] Anything else?

AH: [00:02:09.26] I'm not really sure.

I: [00:02:12.28] What do you think of when I say "arts education"?

AH: [00:02:19.21] Mostly about when you’re creating art, you have to do a lot of measurements, like, if you’re drawing lines in art, you wanna make them straight so it'll look good.

I: [00:02:35.04] Does your school include arts education?

AH: [00:02:38.03] Yes.

I: [00:02:42.18] What does creativity mean to you?


AH: [00:02:45.07] Being really individual and unique about how you do stuff.

I: [00:02:54.22] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?

AH: [00:03:03.25] Basketball.

I: [00:03:05.09] What can your school do to inspire your creativity?
AH: [00:03:15.21] Say that again.

I: [00:03:16.21] What can your school do to inspire your creativity?


AH: [00:03:20.23] A lot of art projects. We do a lot of art projects.

I: [00:03:31.21] What do you think you are getting the most out of your education?

AH: [00:03:40.12] Like, for when I have future tests. Like ??? if I get a job, I need education. Basically, the future.

I: [00:03:52.29] Do you believe you are in a safe learning community?

AH: [00:03:57.27] Yes.

I: [00:04:00.00] What opportunities are opening up for you from your education? From your education so far, what do you think? You know, what jobs could you possibly get?


AH: [00:04:12.17] I don't really know, honestly.

I: [00:04:15.22] Understandable, you’re only in middle school. I think things like that are mostly thought about in high school. Do your teachers help you succeed?

AH: [00:04:25.29] Most of the time.

I: [00:04:29.08] That’s good. Is your school relevant to what you want out of life?
AH: [00:04:34.03] Definitely, yeah.

I: [00:04:36.11] What do you want out of life and what do you need from school?


AH: [00:04:48.08] Education.

I: [00:04:52.08] Do you feel you are getting the education you need to prepare for adulthood?

AH: [00:04:56.27] Yes, definitely.

I: [00:04:59.21] Alright. Well, I believe you are done. Thank you for allowing us to interview you. That will be all.

Annabel Jones

Interviewee: Annabel Jones, 7th grade student

Interviewer: unknown

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

I: [00:00:02.24] We are working with leaders from around the country 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?


AJ: [00:00:20.17] Sure.

I: [00:00:21.19] Can you say your name and spell it out for me, please?


AJ: [00:00:24.15] Annabel Jones. A-n-n-a-b-e-l J-o-n-e-s.

I: [00:00:30.12] What makes you want to come to school every day?


AJ: [00:00:35.01] To get smarter and to grow so I get into a good school, I guess, like for college.

I: [00:00:43.28] Which college would you like to go to?


AJ: [00:00:45.14] Either where my brother goes, Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo or I don’t' know, some place good.

I: [00:00:52.23] When I say "arts" what comes to mind?

AJ: [00:00:58.24] Drama, engineering, and art.

I: [00:01:04.15] What do you like to do for art?


AJ: [00:01:08.25] I don't know. Like what do you mean?

I: [00:01:17.01] Your hobby? What is your favorite hobby?

AJ: [00:01:20.09] I guess drawing or just doing anything with colors. I don’t' know. Some type of craft. If that makes sense. Just like -

I: [00:01:34.28] Like any type of - give me a specific, would it be like drawing or sculpting?

AJ: [00:01:40.11] Yeah, drawing. Not sculpting. Knitting or something? I don't know. I’m not sure.

I: [00:01:50.25] Do you do any of these in school, in an after-school program or a weekend program or at home?


AJ: [00:01:58.18] Like, the art forms?

I: [00:02:04.05] Yeah. Where do you do most of these things? Do you do it inside of school or?


AJ: [00:02:07.20] Well, I do drama inside of school cause I have that class. Outside, I don't know if this is art, but I dance and I do that after school. Yeah.

I: [00:02:18.00] Is it like a after school program or its outside of school?

AJ: [00:02:22.05] Its a class. Its outside of school.

I: [00:02:28.04] Does your school include arts education?

AJ: [00:02:33.20] Mmm-hmm. Yes.

I: [00:02:35.15] What does creativity mean to you?


AJ: [00:02:40.20] Being very - I don't know, art-minded, if that makes sense. Creative, like can do a lot of things with art forms, I guess. If that makes sense.

I: [00:03:00.16] Give me an example.

AJ: [00:03:02.01] Like if you get an assignment to draw something, and then you, just like something comes out and you just draw. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

I: [00:03:18.25] I understand so you’re just expressing yourself on a piece of paper.

AJ: [00:03:21.26] Yeah.

I: [00:03:24.22] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion? What supports your creativity?
AJ: [00:03:40.18] I guess teachers or family. If that makes sense. I don't know. To encourage me to do art stuff.

I: [00:03:51.25] So, you feel like your teachers give you that extra push to do art stuff?

AJ: [00:03:58.15] I mean, like in different assignments. We just did a scrapbook about our life and he said to add more art. Yeah, I don't know. And then family, kind of the same - I don't know. I don't know.

I: [00:04:21.11] Do you feel like you’re pushed to do more art or do you feel like you have more freedom to do more art?


AJ: [00:04:34.20] I don't think I’m pushed to do art. I think I have the freedom if I wanna do to it or not. So, they don't make me do it.

I: [00:04:42.21] How about in class assignments, do you feel forced or do you feel like you have freedom?

AJ: [00:04:46.17] Not forced to, but he, like in the project I just said, he didn't force you to but it was your choice to do it or not so you get a - I don't know.

I: [00:05:03.05] Get a grade.

AJ: [00:05:04.06] Yeah.

I: [00:05:05.03] What can your school do to inspire your creativity?


AJ: [00:05:11.13] Have more art events. If that makes sense. Different events kind of like STEAM night, but art and there’s different things you can do.

I: [00:05:30.16] What’s STEAM night?

AJ: [00:05:31.20] STEAM night is a night we have three times a year, each trimester, where each class shows what they’re doing in the class. And STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. We showcase it, I guess.

I: [00:05:55.04] So you would like to have arts? Like, dancing?

AJ: [00:05:59.25] I mean, I don't know about dancing. Just a night where its different arts where some type of art person comes in.

I: [00:06:21.15] Do you think you’re getting the most out of your education?

AJ: [00:06:24.26] What do you mean by that? Like -

I: [00:06:28.27] Do you think absorbing a lot of your education?

AJ: [00:06:38.19] Yeah. I guess.

I: [00:06:43.12] Can you explain more of that? Explain how your absorbing more of your education through your teachers?
AJ: [00:06:52.12] Cause giving us projects and they’re like not pushing you, but they’re trying to make you get smarter and better at - I don't know how to explain it.

I: [00:07:11.13] You can keep going. You feel -

AJ: [00:07:14.19] I don't know. They -

I: [00:07:15.06] They want you to get smarter.

AJ: [00:07:16.29] But, they aren’t pushing you, they’re like, yeah.

I: [00:07:21.13] Do you believe you are in a safe learning community?

AJ: [00:07:27.25] Yeah. I don't feel unsafe. I don't know.

I: [00:07:34.12] Can you tell me why? What are the reasons that you feel safe?

AJ: [00:07:48.10] All the teachers. Like just safe at the school in general?

I: [00:07:53.11] yeah.

AJ: [00:07:54.04] Cause the teachers are caring and I'm not scared I guess. And the faculty is smart. Not stupid and only care about themselves like if were in a lockdown. If that makes sense.

I: [00:08:14.06] Hmm-mmm. Do your teachers help you succeed?

AJ: [00:08:23.19] Yes, cause they don't want me to fail so they push, not push me, but make me - I don’t' know how to explain it. So, yeah.

I: [00:08:35.14] You’re doing fine.

AJ: [00:08:36.15] OK.

I: [00:08:39.03] What opportunities are opening up for you from your education?

AJ: [00:08:53.27] Like, just any of my classes, what opportunities or?

I: [00:08:56.29] Yeah. This is like a big question.

AJ: [00:09:05.28] In drama, were doing a play and I've never done a play like acting so its leading up to the acting world.

I: [00:09:16.07] You are getting the opportunity to express yourself?

AJ: [00:09:19.07] Yeah.

I: [00:09:19.27] In the drama form.

AJ: [00:09:21.09] Yes.

I: [00:09:25.07] How did you get into the drama class?

AJ: [00:09:27.22] Last year, we got to pick our classes and I guess I picked drama first and then art or something so they just gave me drama. Cause you get to pick three so I put drama first, I guess.

I: [00:09:51.00] Do you feel that school is relevant to what you want outta your life?


AJ: [00:09:55.25] Like jobs that I may want or?

I: [00:10:03.08] Yeah. Or just career. Do you feel like its relevant to what you want to do once you graduate high school?

AJ: [00:10:14.13] I mean, I’m not sure what I want to be yet so it possibly will help me. So, yes it will help me, but I don’t know what I want to be.

I: [00:10:29.13] do you feel like your school is helping you with what you wanna be?

AJ: [00:10:34.00] Sure, why not. But, I don't know what that is but it will someday. If that makes sense.

I: [00:10:45.13] It'll help you in the long run.

AJ: [00:10:47.16] Yeah.

I: [00:10:57.28] What grade are you in?

AJ: [00:10:58.18] Seventh.

I: [00:10:59.23] You’re in seventh grade?

AJ: [00:11:00.12] Yeah.

I: [00:11:01.20] Do you feel like your school is helping you prepare for adulthood? Or the next step?

AJ: [00:11:12.23] Yeah. I think. I don’t understand the question very well.

I: [00:11:21.01] I know cause that’s a weird question. ??? But, do you feel like its preparing you for high school?


AJ: [00:11:29.13] Yeah. My English teacher is pushing, not pushing, but, yeah pushing us to get better and get used to the flow of things.

I: [00:11:44.20] Alright, that’s all the questions.

AJ: [00:11:46.07] OK.

I: [00:11:48.00] Thank you.

Cammie Harris

Interviewee: Cammie Harris, Principal

Interviewer: unknown

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

CH: [00:00:01.11] Cammie Harris. Ca-m-m-i-e H-a-r-r-i-s.

I: [00:00:08.00] Thank 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 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?
CH: [00:00:24.10] Absolutely.

I: [00:00:25.10] What makes you want to come to school every day?


CH: [00:00:28.05] The students. The students are my inspiration. And just seeing their faces every day and seeing them being inquisitive and inquiring and learning and collaborating, it just makes it all worthwhile.

I: [00:00:45.14] So, what does creativity mean to you?


CH: [00:00:49.05] Creativity means to me, is using all of your talents, your interests to come together to design, to create something beautiful.

I: [00:01:13.11] What would you describe as something beautiful? Cause I know there’s a lot of different opinions on that.

CH: [00:01:17.22] Right. So like beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. I think beauty is when someone is able to bring about their true self and bring it to something tangible. Whether it’s through a visual arts or maybe it’s through a dance or a song or through maybe it’s a story. You know, something like that. Something that is actually an interest to them. Something that they can express themselves. I think creativity is also about expression of something that’s their true self and of interest to them.

I: [00:01:59.01] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?


CH: [00:02:03.24] Many things. I would say what ignites my creativity is being able to use it to support or help someone else. Whether it’s just a lesson in order to help a student and use my creativity or it’s an event or whether it’s even my own art that I do.

I: [00:02:33.21] What kind of art do you do?


CH: [00:02:34.29] Well, I’m just a novice. I do a variety of things. I paint, I dance and I write. It’s just for my own. It’s really therapeutic, all of it, for myself. I use it in order to, usually for myself, therapeutic and all, so I use it to help others, like I said. To share my ideas with other people.

I: [00:03:04.14] Yeah. But it can also be like aconnection between two people. So, you’re trying to bond with somebody, you can always talk to each other about art and it’s a way like,  what are your views on certain things cause some things are very abstract. What do you think ignites your teachers’ creativity, imagination and passion?


CH: [00:03:27.06] What ignites my teaching?

I: [00:03:29.26] What ignites your teachers.

CH: [00:03:32.10] Oh, my teachers. I think what ignites them is their - it’s a variety of things. I think some is their passion. Cause many of them are - we say everyone’s an artist so we all are artists, so I think what ignites them is their ability and I give them the freedom of opportunity to express themselves. I think they have this autonomy in that sense so they can be creative in their own lesson plan, their own design thinking. I think that ignites them as well as like I said too, their students. Seeing them to bring and to ignite also the passion and creativity of their students. I think that’s what drives them.

I: [00:04:16.24] Yeah. Have you seen any very creative teaching methods?

CH: [00:04:20.27] Absolutely. I’ve seen, for example, even students too, instead of reading in a classroom to actually walk as they’re reading. So, they say it gets your brain going and doing that, that helps them to understand and comprehend even more. I’ve seen teachers that utilize that. I’ve seen students even utilize the beach when they’re there in order to use it as a classroom. To be creative, use all the resources around you. And also, learn from each other, not just where the teacher is always the teacher but also its where it can be teacher to student and student to teacher and student to student.

I: [00:05:02.27] Yeah. Do you think your schools done well with collaborating?


CH: [00:05:06.24] Absolutely. We have intentionally developed our schedule in order to infuse collaboration. So, every Wednesday morning there's collaboration. The same things that we ask of our students, we ask of our teachers to communicate, to collaborate, to do inquiry, to do ??? design thinking. So, yeah, we have done that.

I: [00:05:35.09] What can your school do to better inspire your creativity?

CH: [00:05:40.07] The school can - actually I think I will say for the district office is to break down the barriers. Sometimes they put too many restrictions and compliance issues upon me. I want us to break away from that and do how I like to do things so to allow myself and the school to express itself without having to do things a certain way like every other school does. I think that would support our creativity.

I: [00:06:17.25] What do you think the school could do to better inspire the teachers creativity?


CH: [00:06:21.26] Giving them the resources. I think so often I think it’s a lack of - letting them think outside the box that you know. Sometimes teachers, I think they even put barriers upon themselves some things, maybe if they’ve been teaching for a while they think that they’re still teaching Industrial Revolution people in rows and pass out papers - No. So, they need to be able to allow students to not sit in desks, be able to get up. Some kids can actually learn from, they can lounge on the floor and work with each other or stand up and communicate or be able to have a variety of different instructional methods in order to infuse creativity among their students. And I think that would also help teachers if they would allow themselves to do that. So resources, trying different ??? instructional methods and telling them they can take risk if I tell them it’s OK. So often teachers think that if the kids are talking in a classroom that’s a bad thing if I walk in. No, I want hear that.

I: [00:07:34.24] Yeah, it’s like trying to give them a little bit of freedom so they can understand and they can get to know what works best for students and teachers.

CH: [00:07:43.13] Right. Right.

I: [00:07:44.22] Do any of your teachers integrate the arts into their classroom?
CH: [00:07:49.28] Yeah, absolutely. Because we are an integrated learning school so we call it STEAM, so we do work deliberately to try to integrate and build connections across disciplines so that is purposeful and it’s not just like were just in silos like here now take out your science book, now your math. The world isn’t like that, its integrated.

I: [00:08:18.08] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?

CH: [00:08:25.04] I think the role of arts is a major aspect for students because you have to use your left and your right brain. Even scientists are artists to be innovators and designers and using that. So, I think art needs to take more of a major role in order for us to really prepare students for the future and to be leaders. Art is gonna have to play a very major role. And then being great in design because we need students to be artists to come up with different ways of dealing with some of these issues that we have in the world. Like, whether its poverty or its the eco-system, you know, with these different cancers, things of that natures gonna take some creativity and design and design-solution thinking. Like, what if I did this and then trying out different ways and being creative in order to do that.

I: [00:09:32.06] Alright. Thank you. That concludes this interview.

CH: [00:09:34.08] Great. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Ellen Mulholland

Interviewee: Ellen Mulholland, Teacher

Interviewer: unknown

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

EM: [00:00:02.01] E-l-l-e-n. Mulholland, M-u-l-h-o-l-l-a-n-d.

I: [00:00:08.27] Alright. Thank you. We are working with leaders from around the county to make a plan for bring 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?


EM: [00:00:23.26] Absolutely.

I: [00:00:25.01] What makes you wanna come to school every day?

EM: [00:00:28.21] Here, at Wood Middle School I love our students. They want to be here and they’re very social and I enjoy them and their curiosity.

I: [00:00:40.13] What does creativity mean to you?


EM: [00:00:45.21] Creativity is the willingness to look at ideas and the world from all angles, to not be locked in to one way of thinking or doing, to be open to other people’s points of views and to see how your ideas and their ideas can work together.

I: [00:01:06.05] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?

EM: [00:01:12.02] My creativity? I need to be invested in something. I need to see its value. I need to have some kind of personal connection with what I'm working with to really be passionate about it and to want to dig deeply into what it is. And I think I also need to have a little bit of background in something in order to be creative to kind of a little bit of a structure to begin with so that I can go down a path.

I: [00:01:50.06] Yeah. So, it’s like you're creating art but they’re just like here, make a sculpture and you have no experience whatsoever so you wouldn’t have any clue how to do that.

EM: [00:01:58.26] I absolutely would have no clue. I'd need to know a lot of things about the materials. I’d need to know a lot of basics. I’d need to know its purpose. Yeah.

I: [00:02:10.12] What do you think ignites your students creativity, imagination and passion?


EM: [00:02:16.04] I would say the same things, that they need to feel a connection, they need to have some foundation, basic knowledge. And it needs to be something that’s relevant to them that they care about and they wanna explore.

I: [00:02:31.09] So do you think that you try to get them with that? Say you’re doing a project, you try to connect something to them?

EM: [00:02:38.12] I do. I teach English learners and I teach students who struggle in reading and writing. They’re two different populations but they both, it’s very academic in my program and so I’m always infusing it with the studio habits of mine and kind of an artistic way of looking at ideas and also doing something creative and hands-on. I do try.

I: [00:03:14.13] What can your school do to better inspire your creativity?


EM: [00:03:18.15] I think being a teacher, and especially a teacher here at Wood ???  but, a challenging population. We have a lot of initiatives that were following at our school, arts-integration, supporting English learners, we have a math initiative here, an anti-bullying program, positive-behavior intervention. There’s a lot of areas that were focusing on and I think what helps me be creative, as a person, is time and less stress. I think the more time I have to work on my program and plan my program, I think it makes me happier and if I’m happier I’m more productive and more creative.

I: [00:04:07.19] What do you think your school could do to better inspire the students creativity?


EM: [00:04:13.13] What can the school do? Gosh, what can we do? What’s in our control? I think the more we collaborate together as teachers so students are not having a pile of work in their math class and a pile of work in the English and a pile of work in their history but, if they see that all those classes are connected and their teachers have been talking, I think that lowers their stress levels and allows them to be more creative in the room. I think if we collaborate effectively that will help our students be more creative.

I: [00:05:03.02] Yeah. Do you think it could also be collaborating with the students themselves? Does that really help?

EM: [00:05:08.05] Yes. I’d have to explore more what that looks like. I think I know what you mean by it. We do survey our students. For example, we have a life-skills elective program which is a pass/fail class. It’s very low stress, very low curriculum, no homework, minimal planning on the teacher and it’s your passion. I used to teach one, I don't now because I have English learners, but I used to teach creative writing because that’s my passion and we surveyed the kids what do they want in those classes? And then we try to match up what they’re interested in and what our skills are. So, if I have skills in Yoga and there’s a group of kids who wanna learn Yoga then we can create a class. So, we’ve done that in that elective period but as far as collaborating with the students within the curricular programs, like the academic programs, I don’t think we’ve done that. It’s an interesting idea.

I: [00:06:14.04] What did you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a teacher?


EM: [00:06:20.11] I hoped to instill a love of learning and curiosity in kids that they carry beyond the school day and beyond their school years. To open them up to the world and see all the amazing things that they can learn about and do. And that learning is not a burden but a privilege and an honor and can be a lot of fun.

I: [00:06:51.03] Yeah, I share your view on that. I've always thought that the more that I’ve been able to learn, the bigger skills palate that I have. So I’m able to do a multitude of different things and I can never stick to one path. Do you think that you were able to achieve your goal with your students?


EM: [00:07:12.18] I don't think I've fully achieved my goal but I feel I’ve been able to reach some of them. I feel they come with so much on their plate, some of them aren’t even just getting their basic needs met which makes it hard to push them further along there if they’re not feeling that they have a secure home or they’re not getting fed in the morning and things like that.

I: [00:07:45.22] So, currently, what is your main goal as a teacher?

EM: [00:07:50.11] Currently my main goal, because at Wood arts-integration school, my main goal right now is to provide many paths of access to writing and reading for my students so that they can see - the students I work with are all different kinds of learners, visual, language learners, math learners and so my goal is to just help them see, well just because you’re really good at math and not so great at English or writing doesn’t mean you can’t be. What is it that helps you be so good in math that could help you be good over here? So my goal right now is just help kids see their possibilities and again, to just see that learning is awesome and like you said, opens doors for them. That’s my goal with my kids that I work with.

I: [00:08:50.16] Yeah, like you said with the people that are really strong in math but they’re struggling in reading, they don’t have to become really strong in reading but it’s that they need to see that it’s a very good opportunity to just become at least good in reading because you don't need to have strong skill sets in every skill, but if you’re at least good or decent in most of them, then you’ll be alright.

EM: [00:09:18.19] Wow! You’re a very wise young man. I have a twenty-three year old son and he said to me something similar the other day, he said, "you don’t have to be an expert at something in life to get far in life, you just need to be good at learning." And so that you can be put into any situation and know well, how do I learn how to be a cook in this kitchen? Or how do I learn how to be a good waiter in this restaurant? Or whatever job you're going into, you don’t need to been born being a great waiter, you just need to know how to learn how to be a waiter. Similar to what you just said.

I: [00:09:57.12] Do you think that you use arts in the classroom?

EM: [00:09:59.20] Yep.

I: [00:10:00.08] How would you say you use arts in the classroom?


EM: [00:10:03.01] As I said, one of the things I focus on is the studio habits of mine which is helping students look through the lens of an artist in their work. So they are, in their writing, we talk about developing the craft of writing, we talk about envisioning before you write so that brainstorming step. How are you expressing yourself in your writing? So, it’s not just that, here’s a text, read it. Here’s a question, respond to it and write it. Which is kind of the old school way. But more of being creative and putting your own connection into it. I’m also always trying when they present anything making it visual. What is the visual for us? If you’re putting together a poster on volcanoes or studying something in science, you’re presenting information but you’re also making it visually appealing, you’re balancing it. That would be my way that I’m doing it. I don't know. I’m not an art teacher.

I: [00:11:18.17] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?

EM: [00:11:23.09] I think that the role of the arts is again to help students make connections to the world in a variety of ways in a variety of sensory paths so that they’re seeing and hearing ideas that they are - tell me your question again? Cause I started thinking of my own ideas for a second.

I: [00:11:54.23] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?


EM: [00:11:59.02] What I just said but also I was talking to somebody the other day, a history teacher, and so much of what we’ve learned about history has been through art, through paintings left behind, through sculptures left behind. And so I think that I want kids to see again it’s that connection that it’s not like art is its own thing that is just something that is fun to do on your weekend but that you can actually teach things about your world through your art.

I: [00:12:36.21] Aright, thank you. That concludes this interview.

Kai Dwyer

Interviewee: Kai Dwyer, Counselor

Interviewer: unknown

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

I: [00:00:00.29] Hello. Thank you for joining us. What is your name?

KD: [00:00:02.23] Kai Dwyer.

I: [00:00:05.00] Could you please spell it out for us?

KD: [00:00:06.01] Yes. K-a-i and my last name is D as in David, w-y-e-r.

I: [00:00:13.10] Thank 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 for making 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?

KD: [00:00:37.19] Please.

I: [00:00:38.19] What makes you want to go to school every day?

KD: [00:00:42.19] What makes me want to come to work every day? OK. The students, they’re hilarious. I don't have any kids so I have five hundred and eleven kids here and I love them, they’re funny.

I: [00:00:56.21] What does creativity mean to you?


KD: [00:00:59.23] Creativity, sometimes it’s just organic so when you get an inspiration, probably while you’re doing something to do something that is hopefully a little unique. Some of my creative ideas come while I’m asleep though so maybe of some of being creative is more divine or sub-conscious. And then there’s being intentionally creative where you’re like, I gotta figure out a different way to do this. And that’s a little bit more not as cool sounding but that kind of creativity comes into play too.

I: [00:01:40.28] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?
KD: [00:01:45.11] What ignites it? I think I’m pretty self-motivated so I like to out-do myself. I do the bulletin boards in the main hallway and I don't like them to ever look the same. So, its like OK we did this last year, how am I gonna make it different and better this year? Maybe more interactive or a theme that we never played with before.

I: [00:02:09.23] What ignites your students’ creativity, imagination and passion from what you’ve seen over the years?

KD: [00:02:14.24] Ooh, that’s a good question. I think they’re inspired by other adolescents online a lot of the times like these Youtubers and these Instagram people and there’s all these programs where they can do digital drawings and paintings. I think that they’re inspired by their lives and how their lives are connected to other people, especially people they don’t know because some kids don’t really have a network here, they have a whole network online, a safe network, age-appropriate network where they get validated. I think they’re inspired by life in each other.

I: [00:02:56.23] What can your school do to better inspire your creativity?


KD: [00:03:05.24] My creativity? What can my school do? Ooh, they could issue really nice cameras and a place where we can develop the film. That would be really great cause were right by the beach and our students, it would be nice to film them at lunch sometimes and take pictures. I think the bulletin would be very upgraded by clear, nice pictures. I think the students would benefit from that too. Also, our art room has a kiln and it would be nice if we could have a staff meeting where we could just make pottery and ??? pots. I wanna do clay.

I: [00:03:53.26] What can your school do to better inspire your students creativity?


KD: [00:03:59.06] We have a makers space, a technology and design lab, and students in there are either sixth graders who rotate throughout the year or they are students in our engineering class and we have two sections of that. It would be nice if more teachers used that space and students went in there and they got to tinker and break stuff and make stuff and try to come up with solutions to problems. Because I think when you touch things and you can just have them in your hands and experience the different textures and smells, I think that is a really good creative opportunity and that’s built-in, we have that here right now so we wouldn’t' even have to leave campus or ask for money.

I: [00:04:45.07] What did you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a counselor? And were you able to achieve this with your students?


KD: [00:04:55.27] I wanted to support students in furthering their lives and being high school and college ready and feeling safe and some, relatively happy. I’ve done a lot of that but some kids are out of my pay grade and they need - you know, I have a ??? in school counseling, I’m notan ??? I'm not a psychologist. And were in a school setting and so they need a little bit more and some might even need pharmaceutical intervention. But that’s what I wanted to do, I wanted to support students cause I can see a lot of their futures and I know the past but they may not know that and their families may not know that. And I'm like, you are eighteen times brighter than I ever was, I know where you’re going, I know what you need to do, listen to me, mom, dad, grandma, push them, we'll pull them and well get them where they need to go. So, yeah, I accomplished that, that’s why I got into counseling.

I: [00:05:55.25] What’s your main goal as a counselor?

KD: [00:05:59.22] Oh, my lord, what is my main goal? Well, academic counseling is my favorite part, I love academics. My goal is for ninety percent of my students to be four-year college ready. Of course, there’s no shame in the two-year route so if they’re ready to go to College of Alameda or Chabot or whatever, more power to them. For some of my students, the goal is for them to be able to get hired at a fast-food restaurant at eighteen because some are not gonna make it maybe based on their intellectual capabilities. But, that still takes organization, responsibility, communication skills, a little bit of math. I mean, I worked at McDonald's in high school so I know from first-hand experience. So, it ranges, the gamut I guess you would say. But I also want them to feel as comfortable as they can in the skin that they’re in and really I want them to get past this awkward phase that some of them are in. Because I can see some of these kids in college, playing the guitar under a tree in between classes. I can see when it’s gonna be OK to be whatever they’re turning into now but now they don’t feel like that. But, college is so much fun. I'm like you can make it, just keep going. So, that’s my goal for them in counseling them.

I: [00:07:28.07] Do you use arts in your office? And if you do, how so?

KD: [00:07:37.05] When I facilitated groups we would do fun coloring stuff. We may do something with hands, like they trace their hands and write five qualities of friendship or something in their hand. But, I haven't facilitated groups in a while because I do so much scheduling and other stuff so I don't really use that much art to be honest, unfortunately. I’m sorry.

I: [00:08:05.25] That’s fine. What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?

KD: [00:08:10.29] I think it makes you a well-rounded human being and that is very important in your life development. Let me see. Our art teachers have students do protest art. I think that’s very important where they can bring in the outside world into the classroom and do something meaningful that they’re proud of. So, I think art is a good way to express maybe angst, confusion, hope, fears, what’s happening that may not fit into the mold of a test or an essay or a tri-fold board project that you would do. I think it’s important in the kids with different strengths to experience different modalities where they really might shine. You know, music might be their thing, the rhythms, the mathematics involved or poetry or visually they might be really strong and they may not get to experience that type of success if they don't have access to arts.

I: [00:09:24.24] Well, thank you. That is all the questions. Thank you for your enthusiasm. This has been great.

Layla Lama

Interviewee: Layla Lama, 6th grade student

Interviewer: unknown

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

I: [00:00:02.16] Could you state your first and last name and spell it, please?


LL: [00:00:06.29] Layla Lama. L-a-y-l-a L-a-m-a.

I: [00:00:10.10] Cool. So, Layla, were working with the leaders from around the county to create a plan 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?

LL: [00:00:26.18] Yeah.

I: [00:00:27.12] OK, cool. What makes you wanna come to school every day?

LL: [00:00:30.10] Knowing that I'll get a good education leading to a good job.

I: [00:00:36.09] Nice. Is there anything that discourages you from coming to school at all or you just don’t wanna get outta bed, anything like that?

LL: [00:00:46.20] I don’t' wanna get out of bed.

I: [00:00:49.03] When I say "the arts" what’s some of the things that come to mind?


LL: [00:00:53.28] Drama, art, music.

I: [00:01:00.14] Nice. Do you do any of these things at school?


LL: [00:01:05.15] Yeah, fifth period I have Play Creation.

I: [00:01:12.12] How’s that been working out for you?


LL: [00:01:13.25] Good. It's fun.

I: [00:01:15.13] What are some of the projects you’re working on?


LL: [00:01:16.28] Its, basically were just working on a play about poverty.

I: [00:01:24.07] Nice. Are you in the drama too?

LL: [00:01:26.11] No.

I: [00:01:28.17] Is that anything that you would want to or just not right now?

LL: [00:01:31.11] I want to be in the drama club.

I: [00:01:33.22] Cool. Do you do any of these kind of in outside time? Like at home, whether it be writing or?

LL: [00:01:43.22] Yeah. Every summer I go to a drama camp and we put on plays for the neighborhood and families.

I: [00:01:53.01] Nice. What comes to mind when I say "arts education"?


LL: [00:02:00.09] Teaching students about how important the arts are to the school.

I: [00:02:07.26] Nice. Does your school kind of include some of these arts education? Just like showing the importance of art and how powerful it could be?


LL: [00:02:17.23] Yeah.

I: [00:02:19.13] What does creativity mean to you?


LL: [00:02:23.06] Its using your mind to create things that look pleasing to the eye.

I: [00:02:30.14] What’s some of the things that ignite your creativity or imagination?


LL: [00:02:34.17] I listen to music when I do my homework and when I do my artwork and then it turns out really nice.

I: [00:02:42.01] That’s good. I also work like that, I’m really in tune with music and doing art as well. They go hand-in-hand together. Does your school do anything to kind of inspire your creativity? I know you said some of your music, do they kind of provide any platforms where you’re able to listen to music while you work or kind of -

LL: [00:03:01.26] Yeah.

I: [00:03:03.01] Yeah? And kind of see some of your favorite artists or some of your favorite music, are you able to kind of listen to that? They give you the freedom here?


LL: [00:03:11.08] Mmm-hmm.

I: [00:03:11.29] Cool. Do you think that they could do anything to inspire your creativity? Or if you had a good idea, like if you have some control over what they could do to inspire kids to do more or you know, what’s some of the things they could do for you?


LL: [00:03:33.17] Maybe give us more freedom to listen to music when we do our quiet work, my individual quiet work.

I: [00:03:48.23] Do you think you’re kind of getting the most out of your education here?


LL: [00:03:52.11] Yeah.

I: [00:03:53.11] Cool. Do you feel like you’re in a safe learning environment?

LL: [00:03:57.17] Yeah.

I: [00:03:58.11] What are some of the opportunities opening up for your education?

LL: [00:04:08.24] I want to be a Broadway actor when I grow up. So drama is really helping me and were learning what you need for an audition and how to project your voice and stuff like that. That'll be helpful.

I: [00:04:27.11] That’s good. That’s really good. Also, I just know that when it comes down to plays, a lot of that is really important with literature and reading and writing and stuff like that. Do you do any kind ofwriting yourself or have you tried to do your own script?

LL: [00:04:45.23] Right now, I'm making just like a little book on the side of doing homework.

I: [00:04:55.01] Nice. That's cool. You feel like your teachers help you succeed or give you the tools you need to succeed?


LL: [00:05:04.03] Yeah.

I: [00:05:05.01] Do you feel like all of them or kind of like half and half?


LL: [00:05:07.15] All of them.

I: [00:05:08.28] That’s good. You said you wanna be a Broadway actress and you kind of elaborated on some of these things that are relevant. What are some of the things, kind of just to talk about it more, that you feel like the school is giving you to connect? You said you wanna do drama class but you haven’t really, is there a certain grade level that you gotta be in?

LL: [00:05:38.18] Yeah, you gotta be in seventh grade to choose what elective you wanna do.

I: [00:05:43.14] What are you in right now?


LL: [00:05:44.21] I’m the doing the wheel and right now I’m doing art.

I: [00:05:49.22] OK.  Do you think that the school is giving you the right education to prepare you for adulthood?


LL: [00:05:58.06] Yes.

I: [00:05:59.10] Is there anything else that you wanna add about yourself or your involvement with arts or what you want for your future before we close out?


LL: [00:06:09.21] No.

I: [00:06:10.20] OK. Alright. Thank you very much, that concludes our interview. I appreciate your feedback. You have a great one, alright? You did good.

Lindsey Shepard

Interviewee: Lindsey Shepard, Teacher/Coach

Interviewer: Tauriq Hamilton

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

I: [00:00:04.25] 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?


LS: [00:00:24.08] Of course.

I: [00:00:25.23] Can you say your name and spell it out for me, please?


LS: [00:00:30.01] My name is Lindsey Shepard. L-i-n-d-s-e-y S-h-e-p-a-r-d.

I: [00:00:37.14] What makes you wanna go to school every day?


LS: [00:00:42.15] Being able to share something that I'm passionate about with others, meaning my students, mostly. To be able to spark that fire within them. When I see students making connections to things and being able to express it in a way that they may not have been able to express it in another class, that’s pretty exciting. I also work with teachers as well and so even I would say rekindling some of those fires with them too. So, I like to make people excited.

I: [00:01:32.12] What does creativity mean to you?

LS: [00:01:34.28] Creativity is challenging to define, but yet I would say at this point, I'm wrestling with the idea of creativity being that bridge between two things or more, multiple things. So, being able to fill the gaps, make the connections that otherwise might not be seen. As abstract as that might sound.

I: [00:02:13.21] What ignites your creativity, imagination and passion?


LS: [00:02:28.26] I’m kind of an information junkie, like Ill gather anything from anywhere, again trying to put these things together that haven’t been put together before. So, maybe it’s information, maybe its materials, maybe its people, maybe its relationships but its seeing those things and seeing those spaces and seeing how they could come together and how they can come together in different ways. It’s an on-going process, it never ends.

I: [00:03:08.25] What ignites your students’ creativity, imagination and passion?


LS: [00:03:15.08] It’s not the same for everybody but I think it’s a willingness on a teachers side to give direction but not - well, maybe it’s not even direction, maybe it’s to give choice in direction and then encourage that direction whatever it may be. Cause it’s difficult to, while you wanna teach the same thing, you want students to leave with the same knowledge or body of skills, but they’re not all going to need to use those skills in the same way so you want to be able to build in the choice. That makes that connection to their passions. That’s how I see it anyway. So, choice.

I: [00:04:29.23] What can your school do to better inspire your creativity?


LS: [00:04:32.27] My personal creativity? (laughter) Do away with bells and schedules and, this is dreaming here a little bit, right? But, wouldn’t it be an ideal place if you could just come and do what you needed to do if were all personally inspired to do what we needed to do and got it done. I find that were constantly battling these structures and these walls that need to come down and these things that have oh, it’s always been this way so we have to work within that, but they can be obstacles. And so were trying to fit this new way of thinking into this old framework and that’s challenging.

I: [00:05:36.12] What can the school do to better your students’ creativity?

LS: [00:05:46.15] Listen.

I: [00:05:48.23] Listening to the students?


LS: [00:05:51.02] Mmm-hmm. I find a lot of teachers still it’s a little bit of that old-fashioned, that shift in thinking that needs to happen, you know, where its taught down, I think it needs to be level. I think the conversation needs to go back and forth.

I: [00:06:09.16] You feel like there’s not enough conversation between teachers and students?

LS: [00:06:14.19] I think it depends on the teacher and it depends on the subject at times. Again, it’s the structures, it’s the way they’re set up. It’s the testing, it’s that constant demand for assessments and of course we need to know how far you’re coming in your learning but I think we can get more creative in how that’s assessed.

I: [00:06:50.14] Do you feel like the lack of creativity can affect a student’s work?


LS: [00:06:58.24] You mean if the student wants to be creative and they’re not being allowed to or if they’re not feeling creative?

I: [00:07:15.15] The second one. The second one.

LS: [00:07:17.03] So this is a hypothetical if the student, they don’t consider themselves creative?

I: [00:07:24.06] Mmm-hmm.

LS: [00:07:24.23] And then what was the second part?

I: [00:07:29.02] Do you think that can affect a student’s schoolwork? Or maybe just affect the relationship -

LS: [00:07:39.03] Their learning.

I: [00:07:40.00] The learning?

LS: [00:07:41.11] Yes. That is a huge battle that I try to conquer in the first week of sixth grade that I see these students. Because the way the institution has worked a lot, we get students starting in sixth grade, so what they’re learning in elementary school tends to be, the first one done is the smartest, the best, the fastest, tell me what to do next cause I'm done and that cuts creativity. Because for me in my class I tell them, no, being done means that you didn't really put enough thought into it. You may have answered the question but how much deeper could you have gone? How many more connections to - like, are you chasing the knowledge or are you chasing a grade? It’s a challenge. But, yeah, I do think that can affect their learning.

I: [00:08:58.00] do you also think it could affect a relationship between the student and the teacher?


LS: [00:09:05.17] Yeah, because in a similar fashion that if you take that, maybe the younger mindset of being the one done is the best, they’re looking for that teacher appreciation right there, oh yes, congratulations you turned it in, you’re done, great! I think reversing it and saying no, I wanna sit and I wanna learn with the person that’s struggling and why are you struggling because that's interesting. That’s a challenge that that students having in their learning but it’s not something that can’t be overcome, it means maybe they’re wrestling with something deeper, wanting to understand it more in a different way. So to me that’s not saying that that student is less intelligent, that just means they’re actually taking it in deeper. Is that too abstract?

I: [00:10:18.20] No.

LS: [00:10:19.10] (laughter) Is that making sense on a level?


I: [00:10:20.28] Yeah, that makes sense.

LS: [00:10:21.21] OK. Cause I can try to clarify it.

I: [00:10:27.06] What did you hope to accomplish when you decided to become a teacher? And were you able to achieve this with your students?


LS: [00:10:33.21] Well this was not my first career. I started out trying to go the path of being an artist on my own and that has its own challenges, mostly monetary. And then I started working with other artists and doing art for them and that wasn’t quite as satisfying either, it worked for a little while cause I had my hands on materials but I was still doing somebody else’s work. But teaching became this thing that everyone always said maybe you should look into it, but I was like no, I’m gonna be an artist on my own, one day I’m gonna make this happen. But, then I actually started looking into what education meant and the thinking about thinking and the learning about thinking and the thinking about learning about creativity and all of the different levels of understanding what you need to have at the same time and it just started firing up all those connections I was talking about before that sparks that passion and inspiration. I started getting really excited about it. And was I able to accomplish what I decided? What I wanted to accomplish was sharing that excitement for learning with students and what better way to do it than through art. And so I hope I have but it’s a process. I’ll probably always be my own worst critic because I might have a class of thirty kids and maybe I’ve got twenty-five of them going and geared to doing it but I'm looking at those five, how can I reach those five that aren’t excited right now. So, it’s always a challenge.

I: [00:13:19.29] Can you give me examples of how you would be able to reach the kids that were uninterested?


LS: [00:13:28.26] Its building in the choice and offering opportunities to explore bigger ideas in different ways. For instance, one of my bigger themes in my classroom has to do with how do artists make a difference in the world? And we do several projects through the different years and different levels for just that where students can kind of explore that. We do research, we look through the artistic process, right? So we get inspired by something, maybe it’s a current event, we do research, seeing what else is going on in the world. We maybe study a technique of drawing or maybe print-making or through sculpture or ??? How different cultures or how different artists express that idea of change, affecting change. But I don't tell someone to say OK, so we’re gonna do a project on Black Lives Matter so everybody needs to take out your pencils and write this, right now. It’s no, what is that thing that’s got you right now? What are you passionate about? Maybe its Black Lives Matter and we'll explore that together. Maybe it's animal abuse. Maybe it’s the stray dog problem. Maybe its climate change. Maybe its plastic pollution in the ocean. Maybe its child abuse. Maybe its human-trafficking. It could be any number of things but there’s all these things that then there has to be something that you have a connection to and a passion to that you need to express and we'll all explore our own while learning about a certain practice of art. (laughter) I don't remember the question you asked me. Did that answer it? I hope so. An example, that’s what you asked me.

I: [00:16:09.07] What’s your main goal as a teacher?


LS:  [00:16:15.01] Yeah, the main goal is not necessarily to teach students how to make art. You can watch a YouTube video right now, right? My goal as a teacher is how to get students to think like artists and to engrain that artistic process in their minds so its second-nature so anything that inspires their curiosity they wanna delve deeper into it. And make the connections. That’s it. Unfortunately, a lot of my students aren’t gonna continue taking art. That framework again, they’re gonna hit those institutional walls when they get to high school with those different expectations again. Oh well now are you gonna take your AP class or are you gonna take a language, you only get one elective so what’s it’s gonna be? Is it gonna be a language, is it gonna be visual arts, is it gonna be music? Are you gonna start doing dance? Maybe they won’t take another visual arts class that’s why to me I want them to keep that curiosity and keep that artful thinking going because it’s a life skill.

I: [00:17:50.23] How do you use art in your classroom?


LS: [00:17:55.00] (laughter) Every day. I guess that questions not really fair when I’m the art teacher.

I: [00:18:02.23] Yeah. Let me rephrase that. How do you use creativity in your classroom?


LS: [00:18:16.12] By encouraging it. (laughter) I guess it is the class so it’s a class in arts and creative arts thinking. I guess if I thought about it in the artful thinking manner, it’s really focusing on the process and helping students to recognize that there’s a constant struggle or push/pull between the satisfaction and the inspiration and the spark with the challenge and the frustration. It’s a push/pull and that is the process and it’s OK to kind of muck around in that for a little while because that’s just part of a persona being an artist. It’s the artful thinking.

I: [00:19:52.07] What do you see as being the role of arts in educating young people?

LS: [00:20:02.21] I see it as a pathway to creating change. I see it as a way for people to be making connections and by people, I mean students and future students as they grow older and continue. I see arts as being an avenue of expression that in a lot of other classrooms maybe teachers don’t get to see these other sides of their students, which I think is incredibly powerful. I think it can give voice to new ideas. It can help create new ideas, just maybe even you’re just doing art just for not even thinking about that yet what you’re ultimate expressions gonna be, but working with it and building it and actually formulates right in front of you. And that’s kind of the making and the tinkering aspect of it. I see it as building critical thinking skills and problem solving because that’s such a big piece of the arts, is working out a problem. I have this thing in my head and I need to get it out into the world, what is that gonna look like? Is this good enough? Am I done? Its sparks conversations with other people so these connections are continuously going all over the place. It’s also, for a lot of young people, and I hear this a lot, is the art class is the reason I’m coming to school today. It’s that inspiration, it’s that hook, it’s that purpose which is connecting to self in place. So, it’s the student wanting to express who they are within their place at school and it provides that avenue I guess.

I: [00:23:02.08] Alright. Thank you for the interview.

LS: [00:23:04.05] I hope it makes sense. (laughter) You were very kindly nodding your head so I'll take that as a yes, but who knows.

I: [00:23:16.22] Yeah, I understand.

LS: [00:23:18.00] (laughter) Alright. Terek, would you let me take a picture of you to send to Ms. Caldwell?


I: [00:23:26.16] Yeah.

LS: [00:23:27.07] Yeah?

I: [00:23:27.26] Yeah.

LS: [00:23:28.20] Yeah.

Madeleine Keiser

Interviewee: Madeleine Keiser, student

Interviewer: Matteo

Interview Location: Wood Middle School

Date: December 13, 2016

I: [00:00:01.06] My name is Matheau. I’m just gonna ask you a few questions. There’s no right or wrong answer, I just kind of want your opinion about some of your experiences here. We are working with leaders from around the country to create a plan for bringing arts and creativity to all students at all school 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 I ask you a few questions? Can you state your first and last name and spell it for me?


MK: [00:00:36.25] Madeleine Keiser. M-a-d-e-l-e-i-n-e K-e-i-s-e-r.

I: [00:00:45.25] Nice. Madeleine, what are some of the things that make you wanna come to school every day?
MK: [00:00:49.22] Life-skills. I

do Play Creation where we make plays. And engineering, I really like that.

I: [00:00:58.20] Nice. Is there anything that kind of makes you wanna not go to school or keeps you unmotivated?

MK: [00:01:07.29] I don't really like PE because I’m not that athletic and sometimes math can be hard.

I: [00:01:17.03] When I say "the arts" what are some of the things that come to mind?


MK: [00:01:22.05] For me, drama, art like using art or drawing, doodling, painting, stuff like that.

I: [00:01:33.08] Do you do any of these at home or in your free time?


MK: [00:01:38.16] Yeah. I really like drama. I like to sing and dance and act and I really like to draw.

I: [00:01:45.00] Nice. What are some of things that come to mind when I say "arts education"?


MK: [00:01:52.02] Learning about the arts and maybe for drawing like art class, learning how to paint or learning how to sculpt or maybe learning how to act or how to write good stories and stuff like that.

I: [00:02:15.07] Nice. What does creativity mean to you?


MK: [00:02:21.24] Creating something that means something to you that’s special. Like making a special piece of artwork that is your own original idea that you came up with that means something to you.

I: [00:02:37.22] What are some of the things that ignite your creativity and imagination?


MK: [00:02:41.17] Things that I see every day, things that happen every day or sometimes other things, artwork that other people have made.

I: [00:02:55.14] What are some of your favorite that inspire you?


MK: [00:03:00.06] I like drawing people doing different things. And when I act, I like to act in plays about real life.

I: [00:03:13.27] What can your school do to help inspire your creativity a little more?


MK: [00:03:25.03] Maybe make each subject something that everyone would wanna do, like two things that everyone would wanna do instead of specifically people that like that subject would wanna do it. Make it so maybe someone likes PE but doesn’t like science, make science a more fun place for them. Maybe do activities where you can get up and do things instead of just sitting and doing labs.

I: [00:03:58.28] Do you think it would help if the teachers asked the students more about their opinion on the curriculum?


MK: [00:04:07.01] Yeah, so that they had a say in what they wanted to do. The teachers still taught them what they needed to be taught but they had a say in the way that they wanted to be taught.

I: [00:04:20.16] Mmm-hmm. Cause especially when you’re younger, and I know in my experience, it’s kind of hard to get your voice across when it comes to if you don’t' agree with the rule or if you kind of think that the class could be taught in a certain type of way that would help you, it’s kind of hard to get your voice across. Yeah, so I think like you said, if they asked your opinion a little bit more, maybe did some surveys or just had kids fill out what they want so that the kids have more of a choice in it. Cause after all you’re going to school here, you spend your time here. Do you think you’re getting the most out of your education here?


MK: [00:05:00.05] What do you mean by that?


I: [00:05:06.24] Basically, do you think that - is there anything more that you feel like they could be teaching you? Or that you would want to learn?


MK: [00:05:24.03] I like singing and dancing and acting, as I just said, and I really like to read and write. I would want there to be more drama programs cause there’s only two in the school and it’s not like you can sign up for it and you automatically do it, the teachers pick so you don’t always get to do it. And maybe more clubs cause clubs are places where people can do what they wanna do like with after school time and stuff.

I: [00:06:04.03] Do you feel like you’re in an overall safe environment here?


MK: [00:06:09.20] Yeah, because most people are really friendly. Also I feel just safe here because, one as I just said everyone’s really friendly and the teachers are really nice and they help you with everything.

I: [00:06:31.23] That’s good. It’s kind of like a community where everyone watches out for each other?


MK: [00:06:36.02] Yeah.

I: [00:06:36.28] Good. That’s what we need. It’s very important to have a safe environment, especially at schools. What are some of the opportunities you see opening up for your education in the future?

MK: [00:06:52.04] Using what I learned here?


I: [00:06:55.19] Mmm-hmm. Or whether it be inside school, outside of school. For example, say you’re really into cooking, were they able to provide, and this is just an example, have they been able to provide something where you get involved with cooking meals or serving food? Just as an example. Yeah, what are some of the opportunities - I know you said drama and stuff so have there been any opportunities that have opened up for you? I know the girl we were talking to earlier said that you can pick drama as an elective but only when you get to the seventh grade.

MK: [00:07:36.18] Only in seventh and eighth grade, you can’t do it in sixth grade. As I said, I do Play Creation which helps cause you get to create the play, you make it yourself and you get to perform in it. You learn about drama and the arts and stuff.

I: [00:07:54.28] Nice. have they given you any drama history? Cause it was really big back in the Roman times, you know, when theater really started coming into play and stuff like that.

MK: [00:08:08.26] They haven't. They mainly just taught us what to do on stage, not really what the history of drama.

I: [00:08:19.26] Do you think that’d be something fun to learn?


MK: [00:08:21.16] Yeah, cause if I wanted to do it, I’d wanna know about the different kinds that people have done over the past.

I: [00:08:31.18] Yeah. And every culture has a different way of theater or acting or dancing. Do you think it would be cool to learn different cultures, maybe the drama in China, in Ancient China and stuff like that? Would that be something that interests you?


MK: [00:08:48.00] Yeah, that would be cool to learn what people do in different cultures.

I: [00:08:52.24] Nice. Do you feel that you’re teachers help you succeed here?
MK: [00:08:58.05] Yeah. What I said before, they help us. If we don’t understand something they help us learn it so that we know it so that were not just lost in it for the rest of our lives. ??? I don't know how to divide fractions because my teacher didn’t really explain it to me that well. My math teacher, she explains really well about everything and if we having trouble with it, we can come in at lunch or after school or during class if we have free time and shell talk to us about it and teach us, tell us what to do. The same with other teachers.

I: [00:09:38.10] That’s good. Is school relevant to what you want out of life? Is it relevant to what you want in life or do you feel like some of this stuff is useless or do you feel like you can apply it in the future?


MK: [00:10:05.19] PE to me, I don't really - I mean, I kinda want to become a Broadway actress and I would need to be flexible for that but some sports we learn in PE, some people wanna become sports stars or something that they wanna be or wanna play Basketball or Football or Hockey, which we don’t do here, but the only athletic thing that I would want to do in the future is swim. I really like swimming. The other things I also wanna become an interior designer and math helps with that a lot and so does art cause you can visualize what it would look like. So yeah, some things but PE to me, doesn't really mean that much for what I want to do in the future.

I: [00:11:00.29] Mmm-hmm. Do you feel like you’re getting the education to prepare you for adulthood? And when I say that I’m not only meaning college but there’s certain things with adulthood that I know in high school that they didn’t even equip us with or in middle school, which was talking about taxes or some of the things that seem a little boring but when you’re an adult, you’re gonna have to face them no matter what, you know what I’m saying? Do you they put some of the adult things into perspective for you or is it just kinda the basic?


MK: [00:11:41.03] Its more just teaching us the basic things. Our math teacher, the math problems in our math books have to do with real life like how we would use them in real life. Our math teacher tells us how we would use dividing fractions or other stuff in real life if we ever needed to use them when were older.

I: [00:12:03.19] Do you think it’d be a little bit helpful if they taught you a little bit about some of things you’re gonna have to face in adulthood?


MK: [00:12:10.14] That would be helpful cause then we would learn about it earlier. We wouldn’t have to learn about it later when we were an adult or in college and we wouldn’t be like oh, my god I don't know what to do when were an adult.

I: [00:12:24.07] Yeah, you’d be a little bit more prepared for it. Is there anything else before we wrap up that you just wanna add or you know, cause this is basically people are gonna listen back and try to take some of your opinions and try and see if we can make them come to life and bring them to your school. So, if there’s anything that you wanna add or anything that you may have to ask for, if you could have one wish that could happen at this school what would it be?

MK: [00:12:54.14] For them to have more programs, more classes where you could do stuff cause some people don’t wanna become engineers or some things that they teach ins school for you to do. Some people wanna have different jobs, like you said earlier like cooking, they wanna be a famous chef. They don’t really teach that in schools. They don’t teach some things for jobs that you would wanna get in schools and maybe if they did more things like that then it would help.

I: [00:13:27.11] Cool. You did a fantastic job answering these questions. High five. Good job. Keep us the good work, alright?

MK: [00:13:35.03] OK.

I: [00:13:35.20] Alright. Have a good one.