Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I love

Students ask me if I like being an art teacher. I always reply, Yes, I do! It's the truth. I love working in an art room. While there are challenges and annoying, um, behavior issues to deal with, on the whole, teaching art is very fulfilling. I like working with high school students because they can problem solve and come up with ideas that I'd not thought of prior. I like being surrounded by partially finished works of art, wondering what is coming next. I don't like to ask too many questions unless students are having a problem or seem like they've hit a wall in creativity. I just observe the process. I observe art all the time. For instance, Flying Dog beer has some extremely creative labels on their various types of beer. Check them out. The beer is good, too. One of the many reasons I wanted to work in education is that it would keep ME educating myself. I continuously research for new ideas for projects and factual information for my art history class. I know a lot, but the knowledge can keep growing. I've realized that I'm missing doing the art myself. The only art I do these days is if I need to have a physical example for my students. Often I put together power points of pictures I find online, but sometimes only a real, in-the-works, example is best. This past week I made a high relief collage as well as a stained glass paper cut out. I've put a little tissue paper in the stained glass, working along side the students, and it's nice when I get to do that, but it's rare. I really love the tissue paper stained glass project. The students have done beautiful work and have taken pride in their work. I'll be visiting the National Gallery with students soon and I plan on bringing a small sketch book to copy what I see. What will I draw? Paintings? Sculptures? People visiting the gallery? Should I bring colored pencils or just graphite? Charcoal? So many possibilities. I'm looking forward to it greatly. I need to push myself to keep working on my craft. Next year I hope to teach a drawing class. I have some very talented students who want to draw using pencil, so that should be a very fun class. I'll need some great projects that'll really push them to do great work. I would like to take a small group of students to a museum next year, so that might be the class to go. It's time I start drawing again. Do what I love and what I'm best at doing. I'll not be going to school any time soon, so I might as well give myself assignments.

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