Friday, January 9, 2009

Teaching the Arts

It is a quiet morning...the end of the first week back at school (after the holidays) which must be the longest week in the history of education!

I pray every morning that I can get through to my students, inspire them to learn, bring out the genius in them, all while they behave themselves in an appropriate way. Even so sometimes teaching art to a large group of high schoolers is like herding a bunch of cats while a bunch of chimpanzees are loose among them .

Now that most of the boys tower above me and whose voices are deeper and louder than mine it is a most challenging job for an old woman which I think I have become (most assuredly I am to them whether I am or not). For the most part I am very pleased with my students but every now and then there will be one or two who want to buck the system and have to be exterminated.....I mean....ah, dealt with. But nonetheless I have students whose art works are turning out to be wonderful. I would like to share some of their work with you so you can see what students are doing in their classrooms when they put their minds to it and sometimes while they are not but happy accidents will happen and a persistent art teacher is usually present keeping in mind that sanity is not always necessary when teaching art. These are unfinished works so if there is a large blank space it is probably just the area that they have not gotten to and the white of the paper is showing through. As they become finished I will post them again so you can see the final results. (Actually, by teaching I am helping keep Caleb in business because when they finish their work the parents are so proud of their darlin's they rush down to Caleb's shop and have it framed. Yeah!)

Art I students are working with collage. Collage being the use of found materials like magazines and advertisments. My students have been instructed to tear up the magazine pages into little pieces and glue them into place. This is a challenging project because it requires searching for pages with the color you need and then merging the little pieces together in such as way that it gradually changes the values as is necessary. And since my budget that has not seen an increase in the last sixteen years although the enrollment has more than doubled and class size increased by 10 students on average recycling is not just environmentally responsible it has become necessary.
The following pictures are all art I students work and the last picture is a close up of the one before it so you can see how the artwork is created.

Roosters Zebra

Parrots Waterlily Detail of Waterlily Below


  1. These are amazing! I can see why your job can be so rewarding! :)

  2. Do you need nagazines...I have a pile of National Geographics from 1976 to now!! (Andy would never, never forgive me!!! :))
    They are wonderful.... good job, Teacher!