Thursday, September 23, 2010

Check it!

One of my friends, Christopher James, built this business from the ground up. Started with a papermaking kit and formed it into a business. A pure success story.

Ellen, his wife, is an amazing artist, and art educator herself, who has supported this journey from the very beginning!

Congrats to them both for such an amazing business.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I really need to try and keep up!

So my dears, are you ready for another school year? The first 4 days have passed and we're on to week two! Things have been good so far, so definitely feel like it's a great start.

As some of you already know, I decided to go back to teaching at the detention home. I do really like teaching that populations of kids. They crave positive attention and the arts. They need it! I feel more like a teacher than I have in a really long time (understand that how you want to). I feel like I really know what kids I work well with and get genuinely excited about it. The dialogue that goes back and forth, their questioning, their spontaneity.

This will be my 4th year teaching in the D-home, and somethings obviously stay the same, but most somethings change. Both positive and negative. I have my complaints, but as each school year goes by I realize what matters most -- the kids.

I have opinionated, conservative, should-be-retired, lazy, sometimes mean, complaining co-workers. But this year I have to ignore it. For the sake of my students, and for the sake of myself. I can only do what I can do. What everyone else does is up to them. I have no say in what they do. It used to frustrate me, but now I teach better because of it.

There is no doubt that there should be attentive, caring, firm, creative, and flexible teachers in that school. One day, I hope that they realize it's an important place that change can happen (albeit very very small and difficult ones).

This year I hope that I can keep it up. My schedule is pretty demanding. The first half of my entire day is teaching 5 straight classes and the afternoon is for prep. It wouldn't be so bad, except I don't have my own classroom. I can't really do anything but use the computer as silently as possible. Can't print, can cut, can't make demos. It's a little frustrating. It will be tough to keep up, but I think last year (at the elementary schools) I learned to be really efficient and plan! I will take 5 different classes over several of each grade level any day. I'm glad that I get to see students 5 days a week, even though there is a lot of turnover.

So I am keeping up, for now.

Check back in a month-- it may be different. I hope to post some artwork soon, we have made small animal pictures, and now we're working on mythical creatures! I can't wait to see how they turn out (hopefully there will be some students that are here long enough to finish).

Never the less, I wish I didn't really have this job. The amount of kids that come into the D-home is at least 500 kids a year (some of them frequent flyers). I constantly tell them I want them to put me out of a job! - They laugh, but I don't.

So, be aware. There will be lots of stories this year.