Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Week Reflections...

Wow! This last 2 weeks has been a whirlwind. I am finally settling into my crazy schedule between 3 schools. I have learned a few things at the elementary school. First, I need to have more patience. Second, I need to be flexible because the kids love that! And finally, if I assert my needs, administration rises to the occasion.

I found that in the first week the kids are all adjusting too. I went in to it immediately expecting them to respond, be focused, etc in art class. That was an unrealistic expectation on my part. They are adjusting to a new teacher, in some cases, new classmates, and a new schedule...for anyone that can cause you to be less focused. By the second meeting, the students were much more focused, and it seemed that they were remembering what the behavior expectations for school.

Fifth grade getting inspired by Arshlie Gorky's abstractions.

Kids were refreshed by my flexible approach to the art projects. I heard a little bit about their former teachers expecting them to be "perfect" and do it "her way". This hurts my heart! After all, the art room should be the one place in school where kids can make projects their way! I had to remind classes of this. "If I wanted a photograph of a person, I would give you a camera. Draw a person the best you can. I want a drawing." This relaxed them! "You want to make your cityscape with flying lollipops? Sounds great! In art, anything is possible!" I could see a sense of excitement come over them...and it spread like wildfire. The creativity was so awesome it made me want to cry with pride. I released something in my students. I am helplessly addicted to teaching art!

Finally, I am learning that when I tell my principals things that I need and want, they jump to accommodate me. This is a bit different from the high school, where administration has so many teachers and students to handle. At the school where I am teaching in the cafeteria, my principal is working on getting me a portable sink and has ordered me a dry erase board on wheels with storage! So, I am learning that she who asks may receive, so I will have to keep that up.

I think it is also important for me to stay organized. Writing things down is really helping. I switched from an electronic planner (my phone) to an old fashioned planner and it is working better for me.

Whew. Hopefully I will have more to share with you soon!

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