Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Full week back

Wow, am I tired.  Waking up at 5:45 am is not a normal thing to do.  And even though it happens regularly throughout most the year I still never get used to it.  Part of me likes waking up while the house is still very quiet.  I sit and eat my breakfast, drink some tea and check things on the computer.  It's a really very quiet time.  All I can hear is the hum of a fan, some crickets, and my fingers typing on the keypad.

But- I'm still tired.

It's been a good week back to far at the D-home.  It's "enrichment" week, which mean it's not "real" school.  We have 4 classes that are each an hour long, and we decided on a theme to teach from.  It was my job to basically pick the theme:  wellness.  The tag is "Mind, Body, Character".  Of course that works for me pretty well, since I'm doing 5 days of art/yoga with kids.  The rest of the teachers, well, I'm not really sure what they're doing.

For some reason they had a hard time with the topic.  2 teachers get to team up, and decide what they wanted to teach with the theme.  I felt like it was a pretty open theme, I mean I can think of something in every subject can relate.  I even gave them sub topics for each subject area (English, Social Studies, Science, Math, and PE).  We'll see. It's supposed to be fun, engaging, and way for students to interact in a different way.  To feel active in their learning, because most of the teachers here, teach in a very old fashioned way.  Plus, students are limited.  They're not really allowed to get up, use dynamic group setups, etc...

My classes are going well.  Monday we did a little introduction to yoga and a self-portrait collage with positive adjectives.  Kind of like a "who am I project".  They haven't finished the collages yet, but hopefully they'll get a chance to finish them today.  Yesterday they did a Kundalini style yoga practice, but we stopped after each particular exercise to mark down sensations we felt on an outline picture (they're turned out interestingly, I'll post pics later).  Today we're doing a full vinyasa flow which is sure to make kids sweat a little... and tomorrow we'll restore with some gentle yoga.  Friday we'll do a short meditation and a mandala art project.

It makes me want to teach like this all year long.  I think they would benefit so much from yoga and art on a regular basis.  My friend and I still plan to have our after school sessions this year, but that's only once a week, with one group for 6 weeks.  For it to be truly beneficial, I feel like it needs to be at least twice a week - on going for the whole year.

But, you do what you can.  I'm tired from this week so far, and it's only Wednesday.  I've done small practices at home, but haven't made it to the studio yet this week. I'm going to try and go today.  It's definitely hard to maintain your practice when you have to teach.  Of course I already know this from teaching art!  It's the same thing.... If you teach what you love, I think sometimes, your personal exploration of that subject takes a back seat.  It's tough to balance it.  At least for me, it is.

On another note, I'm just about finished reading David Byrne's book... There was a nice little portion about art last night in the book.  He went to look at "outsider" art in San Francisco, and that sparked a debate in his mind about who decides what is outsider art?  And is it more authentic or not, then a trained artist?  And why is there a separation?  And most professional artists concern with making art that talks about the art world, while outsider artists create art that is more emotional, and deals more with exactly what is going on with them in their own world view.  Why is the value of outsider art driven down from that of professional artists?  All good questions.  There is an art museum dedicated to untrained artists in Baltimore, it's called the Visionary Art Museum.  I haven't been yet, but it's one of the places I really need to go.  I heard it's absolutely amazing, and maybe it would help me answer these questions....

Alright.  I gotta get going, must prepare myself to teach 4 Vinyasa classes in a row.  I don't know if my shoulders are prepared for that!

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