Sunday, August 7, 2011
Why I Do This
I've spent about 15 hours in my classroom over the past few days. I'm trying not to feel discouraged by how much left there is to do. The first day of school is August 17th, in ten days. The teacher who had the room before me really left it in amazing shape, but in order to feel like I know my way around, I've taken everything out of each cupboard and re-organized every shelf. I've created labels for every cabinet. I've painted a mural, made a bulletin board about Rules and Procedures of the Art room, made a welcome sign. I've laminated, cleaned, organized, and planned, but there's still a thousand things left to do. Still, I believe that this time I'm spending in my room is helping me develop a positive feeling towards the coming year. I'm envisioning how I want things to run when the students are in there. I'm daydreaming and getting excited about projects I want to do.
These pictures I'm posting are from lessons past. Some are from projects I taught during my student-teaching at both Russell elementary and Hickman High School. A few are from the summer program at the craft studio. The work shown spans students between the ages of 7-18. When I look back at these pictures it reminds me of why I'm excited to teach. Since I've been taking Education classes at Columbia College I've gotten used to reciting my educational philosophy on demand. I've written it eloquently in papers and portfolios and presentations. However, while I've been working in my classroom, I'm thinking back to when I was in elementary school. I remember one monday, waiting in line outside the school after recess, thinking about how art didn't come until friday. I remember feeling as though an ocean of time lay between that moment and friday.
I want to teach because I believe that the process of making art is restorative for children and I want to help dispel the myth that art is superfluous. When I think about how art helped guide me through public school and ultimately to a higher academic performance, I want to be an advocate for more art in our schools.