Monday, August 27, 2012

Takin' Care of Business! Getting Rooms Ready - Sneak Peek!

So I've finally gotten into my new elementary room and for the first time got to assess what I was dealing with.  Thankfully, the last art teacher was pretty organized!  I just made some changes to make the room fit my needs more.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this room!!!  I have huge windows, lots of space, tons of storage, and even a bathroom attached!  Sweet.  I'm pumped.

I love seeing other peoples' art rooms so I thought I would share a few views of mine today!

One of the teachers that I shared a room with last year had the water buckets always ready to go - filled with clean water.  When kids were done they would dump, refill, and leave by the sink.  If you have the space I've found it to be a time-saver!

 Totally got this idea from pinterest.  I added "Inspiration" to it :)  I still need to get pencils (somehow this room is devoid of pencils?!) and put colored pencils.  I found that I enjoyed having many materials out for the kids to use when they were finished, and usually they put them all away properly.  

This board will be used (for the first couple months) to show who is in charge of what when it comes to  handing out supplies and cleaning up...
Ah, and the great clay restoration!  I can never seem to escape finding these hardened blocks of neglected clay!  Alas, I do enjoy bringing them back to life.  These guys are going to steep until ready :)

I am the consolidation queen!  Look at all of those empty containers and boxes that I was ably to empty through organization!  Now I just need more materials to fill them up with!

My attempt at making a fun entrance to the art room...though I don't think it looks complete yet.  Any suggestions?

 I reference this sign at the end of every class.  The class will answer if they met these expectations or not, and will earn one pebble per expectation met.  When they read 25 they get a "free-choice art day", where I let them explore different media and techniques!  I find it provides a good 'mental break' for them anyway.  

My lovely friend gave me this vinyl sticker a couple Christmas's ago, but since I was always moving I didn't want to sacrifice it to an apartment wall.  Now, I am so happy to see it on one of my glorious windows in the art room!  Inspiring and dreamy.

OH, and this here is my new cat, Chuff.  We rescued him from the Human Society, and he loves belly rubs and sleeping like this:

Are you freaking out yet?  Me too.  It's going to be okay though, it's going to be amazing!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good News and Bad News, and a year in review...for a WAS first year teacher ;)

The bad news:  So, the district I was working at had to make cuts and, being the most recent hire, I was laid off.

The good news:  Almost seamlessly, a new job in a neighboring town opened up and I landed a K-12 art education job (and it looks to be almost full-time)!

Now that summer is beginning to wind down (my driveway is full of leaves, which does seem a little too early for that nonsense) and the "back-to-school" ads are popping up on the screen, I am finding myself in need of recording down my overall feelings/revelations about this past year, and the years ahead of me as an art educator.

Last year was my first year out of college and my first year stepping into the role of an elementary art teacher.  I worked at 4 different elementary schools, teaching K-6.  When I think back to the "Me" that was hired five days before school started last year, I smile a very wise smile.  Oh, year-ago-me, you had no idea WHAT you were doing!  But despite that...I do feel incredibly proud of my first year.  Sure, I made mistakes, but overall I (warning, tooting of own horn) really really rocked at being an art teacher.  I received a lot of unsolicited positive feedback throughout the year from parents, teachers and students.  The relationships I made with parents, teachers, students and the community were just fantastic.  I know there is a lot for me to still learn, but I feel that I am developing into a positive, unabashedly clumsy, encouraging and fun teacher.  Words seem to escape me now that I am sitting down at the keyboard, but basically what I've gleaned from this past year is that I am definitely doing the right thing with my life, and I am really good at it :)

So now I am gearing up for my second year of teaching, and it will be a little different this time around.  I am going to be teaching K-12, which means a lot of prep, and a lot of new ground to tread with the secondary students.

I can say that I truly love working with every age, but I do think I will really like teaching at the secondary level.  It will be exciting to have more time to spend on having kids research artists, learn more in depth about art history, and create artwork that has much deeper levels of meaning.  And as much anxiety I may have about all of this, it is certainly matched with a lot of giddy art-teachery-excitement!  You know the kind - when you see a photo of some new artist's work and you think...I COULD TOTALLY MAKE A LESSON FROM THAT AND IT WOULD BE MEANINGFUL, ENLIGHTENING AND FUN!  My pinterest account is exploding with different artist/inspirations/ideas....

Speaking of which, I think Pinterest is the greatest thing for art educators since the invention of the color projector.  My boards can be seen here:   If you want to follow my education pins, I will want to follow yours!

So, cheers fellow art teachers, and best of luck as you too make the mental and physical switch from summer to school life.  I hope you are just as excited as I am!  <3