Friday, May 13, 2011

Peacebus Window Art

I was hoping to continue - from my last blog - with more information about what’s happening with the Meadowlily Woods Park, but I’m still researching info and photos. I should have that story completed by next week. So – a bit on the lighter and brighter side – I thought it would be fun to share the artworks that my students have created…

… to decorate the windows of The Peacebus!!!!

The students just love to create peace art for the bus… that’s more than obvious!!! When we have art competitions on the bus, the students become very excited to see their artworks displayed on the inside roof of the bus.

These ‘competition’ art challenges really help to evolve the students’ artistic abilities as I inspire them to fill the space of their art completely with colourful things, shapes and textures.

The artworks that they create for the windows are a lot less structured. In fact, I never give them guidance. In fact, I never say a thing. The students just do it – self-motivated and self-inspired!

The only time I’ve ever asked them to create window art for the bus was about a month ago, when I was preparing to take The Peacebus to a special Earthday event.

For the most part, the students just surprise me with their art creations. I’ll be pulling up to a pick up location and I’ll see one of the students waving at me, with a big smile on their face, holding out their newest art creations. When they get on the bus they hand me their drawings, and in return I give them one of my peace Stik-ers!

Or, the students will be getting on the bus at the end of the school day and as they’re climbing the stairs they’ll outstretch their hands filled with all the drawings that they created during lunch break or recess.

I think that it’s great that the students think about The Peacebus during their school breaks or while they’re at home. Many times a student will tell me, “TV was boring last night so I turned it off and drew some art for The Peacebus instead.” This really puts a smile on my face!!!

The Peacebus is not just a bus that takes them to school and then back home at the end of their day. The Peacebus is something that inspires them to feel proud about their contributions to the bus so they can call it their own.

The students hate it when they find garbage on the floor. “Mr. Jim!! Mr. Jim!! Somebody was not being peaceful. Somebody was littering. I found this empty chip bag on the floor.” I’ll thank them for telling me about it and ask them not to touch the garbage cuz I’ll pick it up myself at the end of the day. I don’t want the students touching anything yucky, filled with germs! I think that it’s great to see the students taking care of the things that they enjoy most in life.

One of the things that I often wonder about is how many people become inspired by The Peacebus as I’m driving down the streets of London. On many occasions I’ll be stopped at a red light and people who I’ve never met will give a friendly wave and smile as they are walking by. These people can’t see the artwork that decorates the inside of the bus, so it must be the window decorations that bring them such delight!

I smile as I remember one day when a Grade 1 student asked me if I knew who was driving the school bus just in front of ours. I was being a bit silly when I told her that in fact the bus in front of ours was our bus, “but it’s ten seconds in the future.” “No it’s not, Mr. Jim. That bus doesn’t have any window decorations, so it can’t be us in the future!” It sure is hard to play silly tricks on these kids cuz they’re so perceptive and smart!!!

I’m so happy with all of the things that happen on The Peacebus! Teachers and parents have also expressed their delight with the fact that my students always look forward to getting on the bus in the morning and they always leave the bus with smiles on their faces. I’m not bragging – just being honest – but I’m pretty sure that the biggest smile on the bus is always mine!!!!!

Thank you, students of The Peacebus, for continuously showering me with your inspiration and charms!

Mr. Jim

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