When I became one of the 4 high school art teachers, I was in love. I had a new room, with tons of storage, a closet, and even a new kiln. I was going to rock this year! My kids were going to love my class and all of them were going to go off to college to study art... that was my thinking/dreaming.
I was a little hesitant of teaching high schoolers though. I was 26 at the time, newly married, and just fearful that they would look at me as a friend and not a teacher. You know... high schoolers aren't much different from elementary kids. I stated my expectations (high) and gave a power point on every procedure in the classroom; I even gave them assigned seats that they ended up staying in for the entire year. I didn't plan that, it just worked that way. I would not change a thing! I loved giving them assigned seats... it broke up clicks and made students talk to one another and interact even when they were in different grade levels.
The first week as they worked, I constantly walked around telling them all the time what I liked about their work, and then giving a pointer here and there. This had an amazing effect within the next few weeks---
1- my kids began to trust me
2- my students saw me interact with them constantly
3- one on one with each student even if it was for a minute or two
4- they began to see me more as a coach than anything else
5- they weren't afraid to ask me questions
Needless to say, I was in heaven, and my students did extraordinary work. But I still knew that Art was a dying curriculum and if I wanted to make sure that I didn't lose my job, I decided to volunteer and do everything under the sun to make sure I was indispensable. SO...
1- I taught after school tutorials in math and geography twice a week.
2- I became the freshman class sponsor
3- I and the freshman class hosted and created the Valentines day dance on a 200 budget. HARD!
4- I made decoration for the drill team spring show
5- My students work was featured with an article on the front page of the newspaper twice.
6- When the art teacher next to me was diagnosed with cancer, I created his lesson plans, graded some work, and input grades when he wasn't there.
7- I had a student teacher in my classroom who I mentored. LOVED HER!
I figured being an elective teacher and having experience with TAKS (high stakes testing) then I should be the one to volunteer for being a sponsor, or helping out any way I could. The other teachers had enough on their plates trying to get the kids to where they need to be for testing.
And my kids did phenomenal work that blew me away. Here are a few projects that they did (all ART I students)
Pencil drawing of self portraits
Printmaking (linoleum cuts)
So my year was a dream! The kids were fantastic, the work was awesome, and life was going great until..... (da da da dum)....
The Monday after Spring Break. That is the day that I began to see that my plan and God's plan were NOT the same...