Thursday, September 22, 2011

Busy days are good days

Today was one of those days when you don’t sit down, even for lunch, and then you had students stay after school to work in the studio.  At the end of the day you sit, both wiped out and energized, and feel like you had just blinked and the day passed. 
I had one of those days today.

3D Design had a great discussion on what shapes identity.  Well, those that were interested did.  It’s week three of school and students are relaxing back into themselves and showing their true personalities.  I really hate seating charts in high school.  At 16 and 17, and third or forth year in art, I thought they’d be a little more interested in their art.  It’s interesting how it only takes 2 or 3 student to change the entire dynamic of the class.  I may have to break down and assign seats.

I’m giving it one more week to see if my subtle methods work before I get into reorganizing where students get to sit.  I see a combination of entitlement, lack of goals, disregard for others, ignorance of common courtesy and a “going through the motions” attitude from a small percentage of my students.  So I have a plan.  There was a homework assignment tonight (Wed.) due the next class (Fri.) that students had to complete.  The assignment was to take 3 of the categories we, as a class, came up with that shape a person’s identity and expand on how those categories relate to their own situations.  For example if one category was “family” then students were to break that down into how their family has shapes their identity.  While students are working on their individual art projects I will call each student up to show me their homework.  At this point I have the opportunity to speak discreetly to the students that seem to be, let’s just say, a little distracted.   This is when it’s good to have students working on their art creation after a class of discussion and homework assignment.

After 3D Design my next class was Advanced Art and Honors Advanced Art class. AA/AAH has twenty students in all, each working on their own 4 or 6 panel window identity project, and each needing a different type of assistance.  Then there are 4 students doing an independent study in the room as well.  Everyone is at different stage and needs an assortment of supplies.  So needless to say, the classroom was a hopping.  Clean up time was a rush because I often loose track of time and ten minutes didn’t cut it today.  There’s another teacher and class in the room the next period, and I had to get to my duty station.  Now that our budget was cut, and so were positions, it’s part of the teacher duty rotation to cover ISS (In School Suspension), study hall as duty.  My duty is to cover ISS.  It’s not a bad duty over all.  I can work on lessons, grade, or finally check my email for the day, while I make sure those in confinement are staying on track of nothing or make up work.

The day flies when you never sit down.  When I look back on the day I had many students find surprise and success, frustration and determination, expectation and responsibility.  I helped someone discover a new ability they didn’t know they had.  I encouraged a student to keep going with their idea.  I recognized and cheered a student for their great creation.  I managed to get a class of 25 to all participate at some point in the group discussion.  As exhausted as I was when it was all over I can at least look back and call it a good day.

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