Turn Around, Bright Eyes…


Ok, so bright eyes weren’t turning around, but my students, my attitude, and the class atmosphere is.

I have this one class.  We all have had it. Last period of the day. 80% boys. 80% freshman. Art 1.  This isn’t the first time I’ve had this class.  However, since my switch to TAB it is.  And quite frankly, it threw me through the biggest loop.

 I had this long-winded, drawn-out post about this, but I highlighted it and hit delete.  You don’t need to know all the gory details. I am sure you can imagine all the things.

What is important is that I tried to keep to my TAB philosophy and what I believe in.  AND, I asked for help from our Restorative Discipline team.  After 2 days of circles between the class and our RD coach, and the class, the coach and myself, we came to a new place.  A better place.  A good place.  A place I hope we stay at for a long time.  I know there will be bumps along the way, but I am optimistic that if we pause when that happens, we can redirect ourselves back here.

We were in the middle of “packets”… a new strategy that Ian Sands came up with and suggested I tried with this class…when we were interrupted.  On Wednesday we went back to the packets, but we started over as a class.  And, I let kids whom I told myself (and probably some of them) that they would never touch clay, get clay and begin to build.  And, those kids that were the biggest problem, stopped being the biggest problem.  And some forgot which packet they chose. And quite frankly, I didn’t care. They were engaged. They were learning. They were not on laptops. They weren’t on phones. They were asking questions, and being artists, and talking to each other, and helping each other.  It is like what a TAB studio full of Art 1 kids should be.

And, I was exhausted. But, I wasn’t angry.

On day two, I was relaxed, and they were still engaged.  And one student in particular who is often quite angry with me, decided not to work with clay anymore because he didn’t like it. I was worried he would go back to doing nothing. But as I peeked at his laptop on the sly throughout the class, he was looking up images, and doing small sketches, and had a real conversation with me about what to create.

And, the class hummed with energy…and I wasn’t angry.  I was happy.

2 responses »

  1. I’m curious if this email will go through but we shall find out! I need some advice. I teach HS sculpture and am trying it the TAB way. They have a guide for creating their own concept/theme with a form to fill out everyday for accountability. I feel like throwing in the towel today and going back to teacher directed. I can’t get these kids to work! I have a good number working, some that are phoning it in and have harding worked on it but think it’s good enough, and then I have kids who I struggle with getting them to stay in their seats and are just brainstorming today, 2 days before it’s due. What is the packet that Ian Sands used? I feel like I need to do something different next semester. Any advice would be appreciated!

    Thankyou! Danielle ADams

    On Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 11:04 PM, TAB Studio with Mrs. B wrote:

    > missjaybar posted: “Ok, so bright eyes weren’t turning around, but my > students, my attitude, and the class atmosphere is. I have this one class. > We all have had it. Last period of the day. 80% boys. 80% freshman. Art 1. > This isn’t the first time I’ve had this cl” >

    • First, a question. You say that you are doing it “the TAB way”. What do you mean by that? Are you just giving choice or have you done your research on TAB and are employing the TAB philosophy ? Once I have the answer to that, I can help more. Lease email me at jbarnett@taylorisd.org

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