Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Planning for a winter curriculum

Well, an early day! Thanks to the bad weather we're having. It's said that we're going to have some pretty nasty weather over here in the DC metro area. We'll see about that. I never believe it until I see it. Every newscast says something different, and of course I check "weatherunderground". But no one really knows. All I know is that I got out early and it's on to making the rest of my plan for the rest of the week.

You have to be flexible when it comes to teaching in my school. Since I run more of a therapeutic program with art, I change a lot of things all the time. I don't usually have a full on open studio (it happens sometimes), but for the next few weeks, it might happen. I always like to give them a theme or technique, because after all, I have to keep track of everything. And they do like to have some structure. So my lessons are usually very open ended, especially since a lot of kids do not take art, have never taken art, or are just totally not into anything...

Right now we seem to have a lot of kids who are in and out. So that means short term drawing projects, or small paintings, or whatever. Too bad for some, we're working on a big theme-- Optical Illusions. We started with "Op Art" (which was quick, easy and fun for most of them). But, we've moved on to tessellations. They love them, but they're time consuming. Since there are kids coming in and out, they don't quite get the same satisfaction because you do have to invest your time, energy, and skills... I get a lot of," I don't want to do this, I leave tomorrow (or whenever)".

So I'm at a crossroads. Tomorrow is Thursday.. Friday is the end of the quarter. I'm thinking... maybe do some skill building, because it's just not worth starting something new for the new people, and the old people are not finished with the tessellations...

My goal is for students to have a meaningful experience in my class. And while I know it's completely up to them (they are 15 and older), I still want to do my best to help them find some kind of art niche. It wears me out sometimes, but when I see a kid really enjoy what he or she is doing, it really makes it all worth it.

So tomorrow- we could have school, it could be a 2-hour delay, or no school. I gotta think ahead so I'm not just offering up "free draw".

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