It's the 3rd week of school and here I sit, achy body, feverish chills and a huge case of denial. Why is it so hard to stay home? Today, I told myself, I'm not that sick, I can make it, and suffered through the day. I know in the long run its what is best and the words of my Jardine angel/ mentor rang through my head. She would say, "it is best to go slow to go fast." Today I was eager to get moving as I always feel we are behind schedule. I also know that my students expect to see my face standing at the door. I missed two important meetings and all I can think of is the importance of consistency for my students. Today we are coming back from a three day weekend. I shutter to think about any of those delicate souls who may feel distress from my absence. My mantra has always and will always be students first. I have said it before, I have the best job.
Tomorrow, we begin our second semester and as a related arts teacher, that means a new group of students. I am thankful for a fresh start as it allows me to reflect, readjust, and refresh my strategies. New, yet familiar faces will greet me at the artroom door. I look forward to seeing these smiling familiar faces and look forward to fostering thier creative thought processes, and showing them how art affects and enhances our everyday lives. Mostly, I look forward to reestablishing and reconected with my 8th graders as I am always in such awe of how much they have machured since last year in 7th grade.
I would like to give a public shout out to my Jardine students. I ask that you push through and finish the year strong. We want you to move on, knowing you gave your best to the final end. I would like to thank my 7th grade adviser base students for helping spread the word.
We began our week with clay and I think it was a great way to come back from a long break. My students are excited and ready for this. It seems to be one of their favorite units of the semester. I can't wait to see what these kiddo's will create. I am proud of the ceramic program we have at Jardine and love telling my students that we are one of the only middle schools I know of that has six potters wheels. When kids are this engaged, I don't have to worry much about classroom management. Now logistics, that's another story.
With a new year, and fresh group of students coming through my door, I begin this quarter with a new montra. Having a new born baby, a new semester, and fresh faces I find myself doing what I need to stay a float. Though I get frustrated at the fact that I will not be able to juggle all the things i had hoped to bring to our program this year, I must remember ballance is the key and Rome was not built in a day. Today I found time to post and hey, that's something. :)
I John Lenin was once quoted for saying life is what happens when your busy making other plans. Last Friday I left school for what I thought was a routine appointment. We were told there was some minor complications but that weekend rest would help and I would be back to school on Monday. Monday came and in true fashion to Lenin's statement, I was ordered by my doctor to drop everything and stay home. indefinitely. Her instructions demand I remain on bed rest until our sweet baby arrives. I sat in denial and shock for about fifteen minutes. My mind fumbled through a list of unfinished business as I tried to process what she was asking. An impossible request. One does not simply walk away from their art room.
Mean while my students are in the middle of a clay unit, their work built, having yet to make it to the kiln for a bisque fire. My classroom a mess of epic proportion as clay dust has consumed the space along with muddy tools, and plastic covered trays that have taken over the counter tops. Art continues to hang up and down the halls waiting to be returned to students who are eager to take it home.
To top it all off, as my students are done building with clay, and I was preparing to clean the space, fire the kiln, I also have one more iron in the fire. I have a guest speaker coming to visit my students. Our next lesson focuses on the work of a local artist and I am excited to bring his ideas and energy to my students. In an attempt to build better connections to local artist and the arts within our community, I asked if he would be willing to take time to come speak to my students. Now I will not be present to facilitate this event.
Having no other option than to accept this fate, I take a deep breath and focus on what is of dyer importance. Once I becaame able to accept it, and because of the amazing support from my administrators and colleagues I walk away. It is amazing the amount of piece one gets after accepting, releasing, and letting go. The only haunting notion left lingering on my mind is not having a chance to say goodbye to my kids.
In six weeks I will be handing my students over to my long term sub and I am expected to walk away as my husband and I will be welcoming our first child. I know that my number one priority is this little bundle and rightfully so. We are delighted beyond words, and remain patient as we count down in anticipation. That said, I do not believe that one can simply walk away from their classroom. I have so many students who are near and dear to my heart. So many who have found their comfort within my classroom and by way of our established relationship. I have high expectations of my students, yet, I know it to be true that no child remembers a teacher solely based on their teachers deep understand and passion for their content. I find myself wondering if they are going be respected, nurtured, and challenged as I make it my mission to do so every single day. Is my replacement going to love these kids as I do? As I worry, it becomes so abundantly clear that though this is my first baby, I will now have 134 plus one in my heart and always on my mind. I recently went to a PLC where the speaker said to us "don't hope you are the one to make a change in a child's life, know you are the one. I am so fortunate to do what I do, so here we go, full steam ahead.
So here we are back to school and there is so much to do! My favorite part is getting to know the new students, and having old ones return to say hello. This is the beginning of my second year at Jardine Middle School and I am very fortunate to work with such a wonderful group of educators. I can't wait to see what this year brings, as I feel that I am a constant work in progress. As I continue to grow as an educator, build relationships with my students, and encourage students to take chances in terms of art making, together we are going to have a stellar year. Please stop by and see whats going on in the art room or follow us at our Jardine Art facebook page.
As I sit here and plan our week, I am blown away that we are this close being halfway through the third quarter of school. I have so many things I wish to accomplish and am running out of time. It looks like I am going to have to figure out how to make it work. Good thing I am always up for a challenge.
After some reflection, it is my belief that though there is no absolute right or wrong way to blog, I still feel as though I am missing something. I wish to engage more with my audience and build a blog that others can use as a resource. What I do know is I am looking for a better way. These growing pains is something I am going to have to endure.
Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system, or from a company’s digital avatar to the sprawling and interlinked digital and physical content of an international newspaper. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.
As the vantage point of Christmas break slowly creeps upon us, we are in the final weeks before the end of the semester. While time ticks bye, I begin to feel overwhelmed at all I have yet to teach my eighth grade, regretful for lessons that could have been better, and saddened at the idea that many may leave this classroom with far less appreciation for the arts than I had hoped for. That said, I am feel optimistic about my first year of teaching and look forward to making changes for the next semester of students. In the mean time, I will enjoy what time I have left with my first semester students who have taught me so much about the importance of relationships. Their emotional growth, personal accomplishments, and individual well being has contributed greatly to changing my personal approach to teaching art. As they continue to move ahead on their academic path so to do I. Thanks to the fantastic pod casts; Art of Education, and The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast by Jennifer Gonzalez, I am reminded to celebrate my accomplishments, reflect on my shortcomings, and continue the course. Together, my students and I will keep calm and carry on.
Graphic Design LEsson One
.For the last unit this semester students will be introduced to Graphic Design. I found this awesome lesson from the Art of Education web page and thought it went along perfectly with my blog post.
Materials for my lesson:
Chromebooks, Canva, Pixir Exitor application software
Students can use their own photos or images that are royalty free. Meaning, they must not have a copy right. Here are a list of web-sights that offer this
Paper, pencils, rulers, magazines, glue, scissors, and sketchbooks,
What is a Parody?
A parody is a humorous or mocking imitation of something, using the same form as the original. A couple of weeks ago my students were introduced to American Gothic. I will show them Parody's of this work for our conversation prior to the creative process of this lesson. I look forward to seeing what my students come up with.
I am near the end of my first student teacher conference and I can say that I truly enjoyed having an opportunity to meet my students families. There is nothing better than gaining the support of parents, grandparents, and guardians. We all want what is best for our students and when we work together to support them, only then do they truly know that we have their best interest at heart. I love seeing the faces of students when they figure that out. It doesn't happen every time but it happens more times than not. It truly does take a village. I am thankful to play a role.
Over the last week, my middle school students were recently introduced to the work of Alexander Calder. For the past week students worked with wire to create contour wire sculptures based on his early works. In preparation for of this next lesson, as we are transitioning into the Kinetic art. I found this website and felt it was a great way for students to experience the many challenges that come when creating Mobiles.
I have recently finished my 7th week of teaching as a first year art teacher. Teaching is the hardest yet most rewarding thing that I have ever done. That said, I LOVE what I do. My students are my favorite part of the job and because of that, I feel I am doing exactly what I was meant to do. Building relationships and establishing and maintaining expectations can get over whelming at times, but I hope that my students know how much I care about their success. Not just as an artist, but as individuals. Often times the middles school years can be awkward. I still cringe when I reflect upon some of my own middle school memories. I guess that is why I take great lengths to create a calm, inviting, and safe classroom environment where students can have a place to reflect, create, and practice mindfulness. I am truly grateful for these kids, as have taught me so much in such little time.
Greetings, my name is