Mr. Payne sat across the desk as I signed off on my evaluation. It wasn't a bad evaluation but I personally wasn't happy with my first year teaching at South B. While some of the lessons and ideas I migrated from Apex HS worked, many did not. As I lamented over this, he gave me some great advice.
"It's going to take three years to get your program up and running," he said.
"Three years? I'm not a new teacher."
"It doesn't matter. Give it three years and you'll have it running smoothly."
I let it sink in. Though it was still art class, everything else was different. Different building, different room, different technology, and of course, different students. I had to modify the program to fit the needs of South B.
Fast forward one year. 2017 was a year of trial and error, seeing what would work and tossing out things that didn't. Here's a look at some of the best of 2017 as we work towards the end of year two.
Are You Engaged?
Grading, ugh! From Facebook posts to Twitter tweets to forums on the Art of Education, I can't even begin to count the endless conversations I've had about this topic. I tell students all the time, there are two bad reasons to make art.
1. Making art and then asking what grade it should receive.
2. Asking what grade they'll receive if they make art.
For this reason, grading projects is not in my repertoire.
So how does one enter a grade, that demonstrates that students are working towards their objective, when every student has a different objective? The Engagement Grade.
The engagement grade (click here for more info) tracks the student's daily activities and combines this into a weekly alphanumeric entry. Though it still needs tweaking, which will happen in 2018, the overall process is a rather accurate representation of engagement.
The one thing the engagement grade was missing was an artifact for documentation and student reflection.
This is part one of a five part series. Read the rest here:
Part 2 Reflection | Part 3 Subject Based Choice | Part 4 Introducing Media | Part 5 Teaching Technique
Art of South B
Artwork by students at
Making Artists picks up where The Open Art Room left off, covering issues and situations choice teachers encounter as they design their program.
The Open Art Room provides a student-centered approach to art instruction that is inspirational, practical, and classroom-tested.
Click Here to read the March SchoolArts Article, Student-Directed Answers to Five Frequently Ask Questions
Click Here to Read the April SchoolArts Magazine Article Tracking Student Progress with the Burn Book!
Click Here to Read the February SchoolArts Article, Build A Dynamic Art Program with Modular Teaching!