1. Still here, still teaching!

    I know I haven’t Tumblred for a while….it might be because I follow so many different Tumblrs (education, art, book arts, craft, reading, etc) that I get overwhelmed when I look at my feed.

    But teaching is going great!

    Something new I am doing this year is using our iPads as document cameras. Students are currently working on a shading worksheet and now I can lead them through each part of it by demonstrating with the camera function on the iPad, and then as I circulate and help students, I can refer to my example on the screen, or demonstrate more! This also causes many students to slow down and work carefully, rather than zooming through all 3 pages quickly and then I have to spend time telling them what they need to fix.

    I know a few of my students mistake my “help” as criticism…because I still get the “is this good? am I doing this right? do you like this?” questions (these are high schoolers!). But I explained that when they turn this worksheet in, I will be grading it, so when I help them in class, I am trying to help them so they get a good grade.

    I did have to write a referral yesterday for 2 students who were throwing little bits of kneaded erasers around the classroom. It looks ridiculous when written on the referral form, but I was generally pissed off about it since we rely so much on student donations for funds. Plus if I don’t find the erasers on the floor, they end up on peoples shoes.

    I’m really disappointed in those 2 students….so now they’ve lost the privilege of using the kneaded erasers when shading. They’ll have to earn back my trust. How? I don’t know.

    But yes, we are LOW ON DONATIONS because the administration is making it difficult for students to donate. Ugh. Our department chair is doing her best. Yes, I know there is DonorsChoose…but our school is not in a low-income area (not in a high-income area either, but we have a mix of everyone). So I don’t know how to make the classes look “appealing”….

    Sigh….

  2. I am still around. I’ve been teaching.

    This Tumblr does still exist, even though I haven’t posted anything for a while.

    We’re 2 weeks into the school year and I’m still learning students’ names. I have over 170…Definitely an interesting mix.

    Since the Foods class was taken away, I now get more of the ELD and Sped. population. I think I have about 20 Sped. kids. Yep, and I’m supposed to accommodate for all of them. Doesn’t mean I dumb down the class or lower my expectations, but I provide the same accommodations for all.

    Which means, I’ll provide sentence starters and frames even if you are a 12th grader and you’re taking 3 AP classes.

    I had to explain to my period 6 class on why I was taking the time to clearly explain and demonstrate my instructions for an Icebreaker, even though it was shown on a PowerPoint: “There are over 8 students in this class that are still learning English, so I am demonstrating for everyone.”

    Sheesh. Some of my seniors haven’t calmed down yet…

    But I am happy to be teaching all Art 1s and I’m excited to see how the year goes. Plus this is my 3rd year, YAY! I also love being in my new classroom with TONS of storage.

    The beginning has been surprisingly smooth b/c I prepped most of the PPTs and activities during the summer (YES for productivity!!). We even played 2 new Icebreakers that were mostly successful (as in, most of the class seemed engaged). I’ve never been a fan of Icebreakers though I do understand the importance of doing them…

    I want to post more art-related stuff here on this Tumblr. Less ranting of my job.

  3. Ugh. The downside to teaching art is you always have those 1 or 2 students (or 3, 4, etc) who, even though they are aware that their assigned project has requirements, they want to argue with the teacher on how that since “this is an art class”, they think that they don’t have to follow the project requirements and that they’re being “creative”.

    "I thought we could do what we want…"

    (I do review the grading rubric with the entire class…I know most of them don’t really absorb the information, and I’ve tried several ways to review rubric so they understand it.)

    I try to explain to them that in the real world, if you’re boss gives you an assignment, you’ll need to follow the rules and you just can’t do what you want.

    And then I get the retort, “But this is school.”….*sigh*

    And so they wonder why their project was graded down…Art teacher life?

  4. The end is near!

    We only have 5 weeks of school left! I’m always amazed how summer quickly sneaks up!

    Since we’re on our last projects of the year in my classes, I don’t have as much that I need to prep anymore…It’s odd. I suddenly have all this free time! (But I feel like I should be prepping for something…)

    I am giving final exams in my classes but I don’t think they’ll be actual tests (our school doesn’t define what a “final exam” is), but I’m mostly doing it so my seniors actually show up for class since they finish a week before the 9-11th graders. I’ll probably do a portfolio review of the semester, a critique on our last project, and some writing about art.

    I’m also thinking of having my current students write letters for the future students about my class…Plus that’ll give something my students can read for next year.

  5. Sometimes when I’m sitting in a staff meeting or professional development, I feel inadequate from my colleagues…I don’t know why…I think when I hear all their ed-jargon, I wish I could speak like them…Not that I don’t use ed-jargon, but I just don’t think of brilliant ideas like they do.

    Maybe that’s normal for a 2nd year teacher??

  6. Starting a new unit tomorrow on papier-mache that I’ve never taught before.

    I always start with a PowerPoint usually on the history of the material….yes, we should just jump into the art-making, but I feel better by giving some context.

  7. Once a week, my students complete a warm-up where they write about a quote by an artist, and then copy an artwork by that same artist. Today’s was Francisco de Goya, and this Spanish artist has some gory artwork…I had one student today who flat out refused to copy this painting (above) because she thought it was violent and disgusting.

I didn’t say anything about it because she communicated it by writing a note in her notebook.

Is it a really gory painting? I don’t want to feel like I’m traumatizing my students. (Btw, this is high school…)

    Once a week, my students complete a warm-up where they write about a quote by an artist, and then copy an artwork by that same artist. Today’s was Francisco de Goya, and this Spanish artist has some gory artwork…I had one student today who flat out refused to copy this painting (above) because she thought it was violent and disgusting.

    I didn’t say anything about it because she communicated it by writing a note in her notebook.

    Is it a really gory painting? I don’t want to feel like I’m traumatizing my students. (Btw, this is high school…)

  8. Papier-mache shoes or papier-mache letters?…

    I think papier-mache shoes will be more challenging, but also more fun for the students! Now I need to sit down and figure out how to create one!

    I taught a lesson in creating animals/creatures, but you can use mostly organic shapes for that. I did collect a lot of cardboard because I was originally going to teach papier-mache letters, but I think I can somehow use that cardboard for the shoe…

  9. I always have one or two of these a year:

    Whiny seniors.

    They whine about EVERYTHING it seems. Like, why do they have to follow the requirements for the assignment? Why do they have to take the quiz today? Why can’t they just take the worksheet home to finish instead of finishing it in class? Why do they have to be at school so early in the morning?

    (Is it entitlement? Is it senioritus? Is it normal 17-18 yr old behavior?…Or maybe they’re whiney like that at home and their parents just give in at this point?)

  10. Was I wrong for giving a 2 min speech to one of my students, after class, after all students had left, that I think he’s taking the easy way out of everything in our drawing project, and that I expect more effort from him? That I want him to take a chance and push his creativity?

  11. AND these are the results from our first big unit in the drawing class. Students learned about contour drawing and drew various sea shells from observation. They learned how to enlarge their sketches while drawing. They also learned how to create a composition using the Rule of Thirds.

    THEN, students learned the fundamentals of shading, and then shaded their shells using pencil and blending stumps. Luckily, even if their drawings look lumpy, the shading usually makes everything better.

    This was our longest unit…it took about 8 weeks!

    Usually students choose the hardest shells, because they look really cool, but then quickly realize how difficult they are to draw.

    The thing I kept emphasizing during the shading process was that we wanted to get rid of the lines…we didn’t want to see the original lines from the drawing.

    BTW, these were made by a mix of 9-12th graders!

About me

28 year old high school art teacher who likes to paint, draw, read, and craft. In my town, there is a street called "Paintbrush Drive." users online

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