Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still recuperating...

from four classes in four days. What a blast it's been. Do you know how it feels to be excited and exhausted at the same time? That was me last night. What did I do? Fell asleep on the couch, woke up in the "middle" of the night and dragged myself to bed. Time on the clock radio? 5:25 am.

Testing continues at schools throughout the state. Some schools have canceled their "specials," (Music, Art, PE). We have them on a modified schedule. Instead of seeing 3 grades levels a day we're seeing six. My day started off with a class of kindergarteners I've never taught before. I had them do "hand exercises" by giving them modeling clay to play with. They were an enjoyable bunch. I was offered blue carrots, green hamburgers and yellow hot dogs, yum!

Second grade came later in the day. They thought bubble wrap printing was the coolest. I showed a small group how to make packing tape transfers. You could see the wheels turning in their heads. That's when I love teaching!
Sometimes it's been difficult to not second guess myself about chosing to teach elementary art as opposed to college level after all those years of art school. A couple of monthes ago, my friend Kevin, who I met in grad school, thanked me for teaching art to all these little ones. His comment really sunk in. At times it doesn't seem like we're making a difference or that arts are even valued but had I had a real art teacher as a child, would I have had more confidence in myself as an artist?
Last night was the first of 4 classes of Beginning Desert Landscaping Design at the
Desert Botanical Garden. If you've seen my front lawn, you know I need to do something to it, big time. Last night was a lot of lecture and the nuts and bolts of tools, terminology, etc. Most of the 17 or so students are like me. We want to design the space around our homes. Our instructor, Carrie Nimmer, made a comment that most of us can't draw but there's plenty of ways to convey an idea. It's taken me 12 years of teaching to realize everyone can draw and everyone does it just about everyday.

Drawing takes, practice, practice and more practice. Drawing is mark making utilizing lines and shapes. When we learn to write letters and words we are drawing! We utilize, line, shape, proportion-everytime we write our names. We're not born knowing how to do it, it's a matter of training. Perhaps it's not the most brilliant of ideas but if I can brainwash my students into believing it, I am totally OK with that.
The class is going to be exciting but, oh my gosh, I was laughing to myself as Carrie went over the design tools and lingo. Now I remember why I went from design school to fine art, I couldn't handle so many rules. Actually, I didn't like the idea of outside influences dictating the end product. I don't think they'd let me use bubble wrap printing on a design proposal.
Like the pics? Fellow art teacher, Nancie C., and I went to the botanical garden over Spring Break. These are just a few of many pics of blooms and butterflies. Enjoy!
Even better, go to the garden and see for yourself. The prickley pear cactus blooms are ready to explode!


1 comment:

  1. The pictures are fabulous. I loved your comments about teaching as well.