Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Making Art Alongside Students

Finding the time to produce art while being a teacher is tricky.  Working alongside students during the lesson once they are working on their own art has been an interesting solution to the issue.  I try to sit and join in with students at their table.  Sometimes sitting with students who may be having difficulties with the task or with those who are not able to stay focused on their work.  The students get a kick out of seeing the work and value the fact that their teacher enjoys making art and may perhaps even be good at it.  It gives opportunities for conversations with students that would not otherwise happen and gives them a bit of insight into the teacher's own artistic interests.  Teachers are actually people too!  

This year I have also scheduled studio evenings with grades 9-12.  Once a month on a Friday, we meet after school in the art room and work on our art until nine at night.  It gives students a chance to catch up on their coursework or try something new.  It gives me a chance to complete some work too.  It is nice when students give me advice or share ideas of what I could do next.  The students who attend these evenings have greater respect for the lessons and me as their teacher.  I could also try to occasionally bring this atmosphere into the actual lesson by announcing to the class that the next lesson will be run as a studio where students may continue their class work or come prepared to try something new.  This would be good at the end of a unit when most students are finished but some need extra time.  It may help get some of those who are less engaged motivated by seeing me and their peers working as artists.  This could help them realize that the joy of focusing and making art is better than fooling around during the lesson.  I will have to give it a try.

 This is a watercolour I did with a grade nine class out in our school garden.

 This is a lino cut I did to trade with the grade nine students after they completed their own lino cuts.

 This is the lino print portrait I did of our former director who moved on to another school.

This is a drawing of  a dream that may be developed into a painting.

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