21 9 / 2014

lessoninteaching:

In a couple weeks, I’ll officially be a third year teacher.  This is nothing compared to so many fantastic Tumblr teachers, but in my short time in education, I have seen many teachers come and leave the profession.  Apparently, at high-poverty schools, 20% of teachers leave every year.  After working in one of those schools, that statistic doesn’t surprise me at all.

I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here’s my advice for staying sane your first few years (and beyond…it’s a good reminder to myself!):

DO NOT go into teaching with a savior mentality.  INSTEAD, keep in mind that you are coming in to a new school (and often a new community).  All teachers want to make a difference.  But remember that the school, teachers, and community have been serving children long before you were hired, and that ignoring this fact will not gain you much respect.  Take time to become a part of your new school community.

DO NOT take misbehavior too personally.  Kids will have rough days/weeks/months.  Many children have diagnosed difficulties or traumatic pasts that even wonderful teaching can’t completely undo.  The fact that Samuel threw a fit does not mean that you have failed as a teacher, and it definitely does not normally mean that he was trying to personally disrespect you.  INSTEAD, stay level-headed and remember that they are children.  Work to improve behavior, but don’t let children’s misbehavior define you.  Even incredibly experienced, teacher-of-the-year types have difficult students.

DO NOT stop learning.  You just completed years of college and student teaching.  Maybe you even got a Masters.  But your study has just begun.  INSTEAD, read books, articles, and attend tons of PD.  Everything you learn is so much more relevant now that you get to apply it to your own classroom in your own way.

DO NOT isolate yourself from your colleagues.  It is difficult to come into a new environment, especially if you (like me) are much younger than everyone else and they are more “traditional.”  Additionally, teaching can be a very lonely profession without collaboration.  INSTEAD, remain respectful and friendly with everyone.  It is ok to do things a little differently, but do not get competitive.  Find a few teachers you really respect and build your own support network.

DO NOT feel like you need to be perfect at everything from the beginning.  INSTEAD, choose a few areas to really focus on every year.  My second year, I focused on reading.  This year, I’m focusing on math.  It takes years to become strong in every area, and that’s ok.

DO NOT see teaching as a sprint.  Every lesson does not need to be perfect.  Your value as a teacher is not dependent on you staying until 11pm every day for a month and functioning on adrenaline and caffeine.  INSTEAD, imagine teaching as a marathon.  As a beginning teacher, you are hardly on the first lap.  While you want to be the best teacher you can be for your current students, you also need to keep your future students in mind and make sure your practices are sustainable.  It’s ok to leave work at 4 some days to see friends and to get 8 hours of sleep.  

And finally, DO NOT forget to enjoy your first years, even with all the newness, stress, and craziness.  INSTEAD, remember that it’s a special and exciting time.  Find those moments where everything is going exactly as planned, step back, watch your very own class in action, and think, “I’m finally really doing this.  This is what I’ve been dreaming of.”

20 9 / 2014

mpinaire:

Third and fourth graders are working on a map making lesson for the next few weeks.  In order for us to start thinking of maps as tools and as art, we examined maps in an atlas and then works by Vik Muniz (image above) and Mark Anthony Mulligan.  Both artists are featured in the book The Map as Art by Katharine Harmon.  Using the methods of Terry Barrett (if you are an art educator and don’t know of him, look him up!) we have begun to examine these works and maps as a whole.  I had never done this before, and I was so impressed by the insight and wisdom of my students!  These groups really blew me away me today and showed that young children can understand contemporary art and are excited to learn about it.  I can’t wait to do more of this this year!  

20 9 / 2014

msleahqueenhbic:

I adore my 7th grade self-contained class. They’ve been with me since last year. This year has been hard so far though. Students who were engaged, excited, and complied with procedures have become resistant, withdrawn, and occasionally outright combative and disrepectful.

I knew they were upset with me about the unit content. Totally furious. Unit 1 is a writing and art criticism unit. This class does not like to write. At all. Art last year let them feel smart. This year, I was bringing out things that made them feel dumb.

After a disheartening observation from my lead teacher where a student would not stop making loud whistling noises while I was teaching, I knew I had to change something. When lead teacher and I went to debrief about this she also suggested a game change. I needed to find an entry point that could grab them.

What I was asking from them in class, was very removed from their lives. I needed to help them make a connection between describing the content of an artwork and their own experiences. That night, I took a picture of some random crap on my kitchen table and prayed it would work.

For the Do Now, I explained to them that they would have 45 seconds to look over the image and memorize everything in it, a lot like the tray game at bridal showers or baby showers. After time was up, they had to write down everything they saw.

They loved it. I was able to connect the activity to the idea of being a witness or a police officer, a coach, or a teacher; that this careful observation can be for more than just art. It was also nice to humanize myself a little to them. They are very interested in where my clothes come from now (an H&M tag), that I skateboard (a spare wheel), and that I live for Combos (the empty flat box that I put everything on).

We were able to transition to the next part of the lesson with enthusiasm instead of groaning. They took fast and furious notes with little prompting. Easily the best teaching day of the year so far.

16 9 / 2014

emilyvalenza:

this is a short and sweet, yet comprehensive video about optics and color. so great for color theory lessons! 

08 9 / 2014

bellaruska:

hydracorn:

selfharmer-problems:

lostprinceofasgard:

ishipthat:

shanwaters:

archiescrush:

queersublimeoutcast:

burrenbari:

fadeintocase:

helioscentrifuge:

Hey. Don’t just scroll past. Come back and watch this. You need it more than you know.

holy shit.

the time out of your day to watch this will not be wasted, I assure you.

By about the 2:00 I was sobbing.

I scrolled halfway past and then thought “okay i’ll see what it’s about”

Definitely the correct choice. Watch it.

They. Were. Wrong.

oh god the actual tears on my face

my english teacher showed us this in class the other day. When it was over, I looked around to see reactions. Half the class had these awkward, slightly uncomfortable grins, and half were staring frozen at the screen. You could really tell who this affected.

Oh my… You ALL need to watch this. Very little affects me the way this video did: literally shivers and tears. Please give this a watch.

It’s back!

This is important. And forever relevant.
I’m so sorry, my girls, this is exactly what happened to me, what is happening to you now. We will get through this somehow.

04 9 / 2014

emilyvalenza:

i see my first students of the school year tomorrow! woohoo! i’ll be meeting my fourth and fifth grade students and plan to keep things really light and discussion based. 
we will talk as a group about goals and hopes for the coming school year, and then work on the above icebreaker so i’ll have a bit of data from each student. 
i’m looking forward to combining all the responses from the art definition that includes everyone’s view point. the lesson suggestion section at the lower right will become a student-chosen art unit for each grade level! 
how do you structure your first art classes of the year? 

emilyvalenza:

i see my first students of the school year tomorrow! woohoo! i’ll be meeting my fourth and fifth grade students and plan to keep things really light and discussion based. 

we will talk as a group about goals and hopes for the coming school year, and then work on the above icebreaker so i’ll have a bit of data from each student. 

i’m looking forward to combining all the responses from the art definition that includes everyone’s view point. the lesson suggestion section at the lower right will become a student-chosen art unit for each grade level! 

how do you structure your first art classes of the year? 

(via tbnl)

04 9 / 2014

artfulartsyamy:

My face when people remark of my advanced class, “I’ll bet that class is so easy to teach!” 1) they’re precocious, gifted students! 2) So far, my advanced kids have logged more ISS time than the rest of my classes combined! 3) they’re sophisticated, pubescent, artists… That I’m expected to manage! It’s my favorite class to teach, and the most challenging. The kids are 100% my people and we share a common language, and many of the quirks that go along with being an artist. Easy it is not. #arted

artfulartsyamy:

My face when people remark of my advanced class, “I’ll bet that class is so easy to teach!” 1) they’re precocious, gifted students! 2) So far, my advanced kids have logged more ISS time than the rest of my classes combined! 3) they’re sophisticated, pubescent, artists… That I’m expected to manage! It’s my favorite class to teach, and the most challenging. The kids are 100% my people and we share a common language, and many of the quirks that go along with being an artist. Easy it is not. #arted

03 9 / 2014

thesedaysaredark said: Hi Amy I hope you're having a great start to the new school year. I look up to you a lot as an art teacher and it seems like you always have really great advice to give on here so I thought I might ask you for a bit too. Baisically I'm working on getting certified in a new state after moving post graduation. I am feeling like the best way to get my foot in the door is to sub. Do you think there is anything I should do to be known to art teachers so I can sub for them more often? Thanks!

artfulartsyamy:

Hey! Thank you so much for the kind words.

And, as for your question…Oh Holy YES. Art teachers are ALWAYS in need of good subs. Here is the method I would follow:

1. Go through the school district to get hired as a sub (you may have to go to special training).

2. Once you are officially hired, go to the main district website and get the individual school websites for all of the schools in the district.

3. Use the school websites to figure out who the Art teacher(s) is/are at each school.

4. Email the Art teacher and CC the school secretary (usually helps teachers find subs) and the school principal (makes you look good; helps you build a good relationship).

5. The email should say something like this:
“Dear Art Teacher, My name is Ms. Reciprocity Teacher. I am currently an active substitute for School District Name, have undergone all required substitute teacher training, and am certified to teach K-12 Art in Former State of Residence. In my Former State of Residence I taught Art for X many years to students in Grades X-X. I am currently working on earning my certification/reciprocity in Art Education in Current State of Residence, and I would love extra experience and opportunity in the Art classroom. Please keep me in mind this year if you have any need for a substitute. My current availability is hours/days. My contact information is email and phone number. Thank you so much for your consideration! “

Since I’m sharing this with everyone, if you are a preservice teacher who is subbing it should look something like this:
“Dear Art Teacher, My name is Ms. Preservice Teacher. I am currently an active substitute for School District Name. I have completed and undergone all of the required training to be a substitute teacher in School District Name. Currently, I am working on my degree in Art Education at Listed University, and I would love extra experience in the Art classroom. Additionally, I have knowledge of working in an Art through my Practicum / Student Teaching / What-Have-You that was at Listed School with Listed Teacher. Please keep me in mind this year if you have any need for a substitute. My current availability is hours/days. My contact information is email and phone number. Thank you so much for your consideration!”

6. Go back to the school district website, find out if there is a Fine Arts Supervisor. If so, send a similar email to him/her and mention the word “supply teacher.” Supply teachers serve when teachers are out on extended leave (like maternity leave). Being a supply teacher is a great way to make relationships in a new school district and to find a job. Lots of people I know got a job because they were a kick-butt supply teacher…The absent teacher either didn’t return to school for a reason of his/her choosing and/or the supply teacher just made great contacts.

6. Await the responses. In my school district, you’d probably get a call THAT. DAY. We are desperate for quality subs.

Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors!

01 9 / 2014

artfulartsyamy:

Hey All,

I’ve started work on a Google Spreadsheet listing contemporary artists (with genre, theme, and link to online home) for the #arted community. Feel free to add to it, finish completing information for the artists I already have listed, share it with other art teachers etc. etc. 

My plan is to eventually have it sorted according to genre / media. That way, when we need a little new inspiration…We can use the spreadsheet and search according to our curriculum needs. 

Click here to view and edit!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GvNDEhcAokkCrguV0LviMnfdiEq07se0cwDbSv5m68M/edit?usp=sharing

:)

22 8 / 2014

officialkia:

pennameverity:

This is Duolingo, a language-learning website/app that deserves some serious recognition. It offers over 10 languages for English speakers, as well as courses for non-English speakers around the world, and they’re in the process of adding more. 
But wait, I don’t want to do any more schoolwork! Not to worry little one, Duolingo is actually more like a game. You can compete with friends, and earn “lingots” (which are basically Duolingo money) to buy power-ups, extra activities, and bonus skills - like Flirting.

I’m already taking a language, what do I need this for? 
It’s not really a secret that most school language courses (in America, anyway) suck and only teach you to speak the language at about a third grader’s level. Which is why Duolingo is so freaking awesome.
Teachers can’t give every student individualized attention, but Duolingo can. If you’re not learning the way you want to or as much as you want to in the classroom, Duolingo is a really great resource. It’s easy, tailored to you, and really effective.

Duolingo tracks your progress and reminds you when you haven’t studied for a while or need a refresher on something. Already semi-fluent in a language? No problem, just take a shortcut to more advanced subjects or test out of the lesson. 
The lessons start with the basics (he, she, hello, thank you, etc) and move up to harder stuff. Duolingo focuses on vocabulary first, so you can learn the language and then the grammar that goes with it - much simpler than the system most schools use. It also tracks the number of words you’ve learned and how well you know them.

And you don’t even have to write out the flashcards!
Duolingo is perfect for reviewing everything you forgot over the summer or giving you the extra help you need. And if you’re trying to learn a language on your own, it’s fantastic - you don’t have to create your own lessons. Whether you’re trying to learn your second, third, or fifth language, I seriously recommend Duolingo.
Okay, what else?
Duolingo also has discussion boards, where you can ask for help with a hard lesson, make new friends, watch for updates, and share your achievements.
Even better is the Immersion feature. It won’t send you to Spain or France, but it’s pretty awesome. Duolingo takes real articles from the internet, which users translate. You can translate articles from your native language into the language you’re learning or vice versa, which gives you more experience and makes the Internet more universal.
You can suggest new languages and track Duolingo’s progress in creating new courses. Bilinguals (older than 13) can help to create these courses. Duolingo has a long list of courses that can be contributed to, like Punjabi, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Oh, and Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, and Esperanto.
And the best part? IT’S COMPLETELY FREE. 
If you love languages or just want to pass French class this year, USE DUOLINGO. Download the app and practice a language while you wait for the bus instead of playing Angry Birds!

Coolest app I’ve ever downloaded.

officialkia:

pennameverity:

This is Duolingo, a language-learning website/app that deserves some serious recognition. It offers over 10 languages for English speakers, as well as courses for non-English speakers around the world, and they’re in the process of adding more. 

But wait, I don’t want to do any more schoolwork! Not to worry little one, Duolingo is actually more like a game. You can compete with friends, and earn “lingots” (which are basically Duolingo money) to buy power-ups, extra activities, and bonus skills - like Flirting.

image

I’m already taking a language, what do I need this for? 

It’s not really a secret that most school language courses (in America, anyway) suck and only teach you to speak the language at about a third grader’s level. Which is why Duolingo is so freaking awesome.

Teachers can’t give every student individualized attention, but Duolingo can. If you’re not learning the way you want to or as much as you want to in the classroom, Duolingo is a really great resource. It’s easy, tailored to you, and really effective.

image

Duolingo tracks your progress and reminds you when you haven’t studied for a while or need a refresher on something. Already semi-fluent in a language? No problem, just take a shortcut to more advanced subjects or test out of the lesson. 

The lessons start with the basics (he, she, hello, thank you, etc) and move up to harder stuff. Duolingo focuses on vocabulary first, so you can learn the language and then the grammar that goes with it - much simpler than the system most schools use. It also tracks the number of words you’ve learned and how well you know them.

image

And you don’t even have to write out the flashcards!

Duolingo is perfect for reviewing everything you forgot over the summer or giving you the extra help you need. And if you’re trying to learn a language on your own, it’s fantastic - you don’t have to create your own lessons. Whether you’re trying to learn your second, third, or fifth language, I seriously recommend Duolingo.

Okay, what else?

Duolingo also has discussion boards, where you can ask for help with a hard lesson, make new friends, watch for updates, and share your achievements.

Even better is the Immersion feature. It won’t send you to Spain or France, but it’s pretty awesome. Duolingo takes real articles from the internet, which users translate. You can translate articles from your native language into the language you’re learning or vice versa, which gives you more experience and makes the Internet more universal.

You can suggest new languages and track Duolingo’s progress in creating new courses. Bilinguals (older than 13) can help to create these courses. Duolingo has a long list of courses that can be contributed to, like Punjabi, Hebrew, and Vietnamese. Oh, and Dothraki, Klingon, Sindarin, and Esperanto.

And the best part? IT’S COMPLETELY FREE. 

If you love languages or just want to pass French class this year, USE DUOLINGO. Download the app and practice a language while you wait for the bus instead of playing Angry Birds!

Coolest app I’ve ever downloaded.

(via kissesjohnlockandgrell)

15 8 / 2014

artteacheradventures:

Reclaiming clay is pretty simple but time consuming. Really all you do is soak the dry clay in water. It is best to break it up before hand but if you don’t do that, just make sure you leave it in water long enough for it to thoroughly soak the clay. It is going to essentially become slip. You then put the wet clay on a porous surface to dry, flipping occasionally.  Most people I know just lay it out on canvas, but if you are able to, make yourself a plaster table. Luckily my school already had one, although it is a little small. You may have to replaster it every now and then but totally worth it. Here is the one I just replastered today. image

Finally just wedge the clay until it is a good consistency. This is the part that becomes the pain, literally. My wrists hate this part. If you have a pug mill your life would be easier, but those cost as little as 2900 and as much as 6000. Not many schools are willing to fork that over. (I’m thinking of writing a grant for one, but again, a long shot.) 

Hope that helps, @lovelesswrists

13 8 / 2014

bettterthanbuttter said: Do you have any recommendations for how a first year teacher junior English teacher can decorate their walls on a strict budget?

msleahqueenhbic:

girlwithalessonplan:

Go to the movie theater and ask for old posters.

Go to Walmart and check out the five dollar posters.

Use cheap tablecloths to cover bulletin boards.

Dollar Tree.

Recite.me is a free way to make mini posters.  

Ask veteran teachers if they have a stash of stuff that’s not on their walls you can use.

Also the clearance bin in the fabric department at Walmart! It lasts a lot longer than the tablecloths for bulletin boards and gives you a bit more style!

13 8 / 2014

xavierjones said: I read (and obviously follow) your blog a lot, and I've always wondered why your art instruction has so much writing in it, but this makes more sense. If it wasn't in your mandated curriculum, would you make them do all the writing, or do you feel like it helps?

msleahqueenhbic:

If it wasn’t in the mandated curriculum, I would never have tried it; which is pretty sad!

I definitely think it’s helped my students. My philosophy of teaching shifted significantly this last year, or maybe my approach to it… I’ve always written that I wanted my students to be effective art makers, writers, and speakers. This year I had to put my money where my mouth is and actually do it.

I’ve accepted that not all of my students will love art. I also realize that many of them won’t learn as much through the act of making, but can learn a great deal through reading and writing about art. Even if they hate the act of painting, having them write about it helped foster a growth mindset in class. In IB we talk a lot about developing inquiry within our students; kids who can really think and ask questions.

As a secondary benefit, it helps to build respect for the arts in your school. I struggle to explain and show the importance of my classes, but a pile of visual journals does. When district people visit, I have piles of evidence to show the rigor of my classes to people who just don’t get art.

13 8 / 2014

msleahqueenhbic:

ndrummond:

girlcanteach:

Interview questions I should prepare for and your best interview tips!?!

READY, SET, GO!!

  • What is your classroom management plan? (What does a day in your class look like?)
  • How do you differentiate instruction?
  • How do you incorporate technology into your classroom?
  • What…

We almost always ask school culture/character based questions:

- How do you deal with conflict?/When was the last time you had an argument?, and how did you handle it?

- How many days were you absent at your last position?

- How would you describe your group of friends?

- (principals favorite) If you were an animal, what would you be?

13 8 / 2014

dudeedu:

Many great tips and things to consider for the student teachers. After student teaching last semester, this list certainly rings true! Especially the bit about gossiping about others. You will hear it from teachers and students. Don’t engage in it.