Social convention tells me that as of midnight on December 31st, the year has come to an end. Even though it feels strange to look back over what seems like 2 years, I do want to celebrate the fabulousness of 2014.
I am in the middle of my 8th year, and quite arguably my best year…yet. Compared to some, I’ve had quite a calm time during my career. While I’ve had the same job these 7.5 years, I’ve been through 2 buildings, which means 2 art rooms, 6 different assistant principals, 2 head principals, and 2 superindendents. Co-workers have come and gone, but some things always remains…the creativity, the fun, the awesomeness, and the memories that all happen in my art room.
Without further ado:
January not only began the new year, it also began a journey going from offering sculpture classes to ceramics classes. I had been feeling such disconnect in the learning and mastering going on. My principal gave the green light to test it out starting in the 2nd semester. Here it is, a year later, and I am so glad I did. The learning and growth the kids are showing is amazing. Everything I felt was missing from my sculpture classes have surfaced in ceramics.
February brought the smell that rocked the school. My sinks had been starting to drain super slow, so I put in a maintenance request. The plumber came out, thinking it would be an easy fix. Nope. He opened up the drain and the sewage smell was horrid!! It made the entire school smell. We had to leave for the day and I ended up running my classes from the tables at the front of the school. We were without water for about a week or so while they waited for the gleco traps to arrive and be installed. Since then, it has been a great improvement in clay clean-up and the smell in my room. 😉
To celebrate Youth Art Month, I put on my first art show at the high school. In fact, I think it was the first show dedicated to high school art. We hadn’t had one in the time I had been there, and I didn’t know of there being one prior to my time. It was a lot more work than I had thought, but it was worth it. Work was included from almost all my students and from many of the students of the other art teacher. Formal invitations were sent to parents. The culinary students made apps for us. QR codes showcased a little bit about senior artists. And the entire first floor was full of amazing 2-D and 3-D work. It was a huge success!!
3 words: Umlauf Sculpture Garden. I took my intermediate and advanced students on a field trip to the sculpture garden. This was a very important trip for us. None of my students had ever been to a museum. All of the students, except one, were seniors, so it was a nice way to end the time I had with them. I had most of them for at least 3 years as students, and a handful for all 4 years. They had such an amazing time. It is a trip I will never forget. #THSSculpture 4 Lyfe!
My favorite memory from May was graduation night. I walked around the church where graduation was being held and took selfies with all my favorite students. It was so much fun. One of my students refused the selfie and had us pose nicely. I love the pictures of us. I am so proud of them. I miss them so much. I know they are off living their lives and becoming better people!
The summer brought a lot of work for me. I spent much time researching and building. I was making the switch to a TAB classroom come September and I wanted to be ready. I continued my research about running a TAB classroom. I was able to procure a ton of plastic bins and boxes from a friend who was moving to England. I build new storage units for supplies. I made a new website. I did some professional development. It was a summer jam-packed with all good things. And, don’t worry…I had some fun relaxing too.
I was so nervous in September. Was I doing the right thing? Was TAB going to be worth it? About 2 weeks into our first units, I knew it was right. Every artwork was different. Every student was invested. Every student had a voice. And, it wasn’t the hard work I thought it would be. Yes I was constantly moving, but it was fun. I felt so energized at the end of the day.
October brought me Donor’s Choose. I had created a project to help fund canvas boards for my students. It was funded within a 2 weeks of my creating it. I am so grateful. It really helped me to get other supplies for my students. My kids are going through the canvases–both exploring ways of painting and creating some fabulous pieces along the way. I again can’t thank my donors enough for what they brought me and my students.
I was honored by the football team in November as their final choice for Teacher of the Week. I still can’t believe that the guys chose me. It was an amazing game and I was able to see the boys in a new light. I still haven’t given the jersey back…I figure I have time until next season.
December wrapped up my first semester teaching in a more student-centered direction. I loved it. I learned so much this semester and I grew so much. My students learned so much and grew as artists. It was/is a win-win situation. It was the right decision to move forward with TAB, and I have no plans on turning back. My students think it was the right choice too. Here is my post about it.
I look forward to the new experiences that will occur in my classroom in 2015. Sculpture will become a choice in Art 1. Ceramic students will start to be given more choice. A trip to New Orleans for the NAEA conference–I am presenting to boot. The 2nd annual art show. Tears of joy will be shed as this year’s seniors spread their wings to fly. And so much more.