Friday, February 1, 2019

Ending and Beginning

Welcome to February, all!
I don't know about you, but after coming down with strep throat, I'm happy to put the last week of January to rest and start a fresh month anew.

As really difficult as this past week has been for me personally, there are some upsides I'm going to try to quickly address some of them here:

  • First, the empathy of the vast majority of my students has been on explicit display. They know I've been massively under the weather, and they have been not just respectful and productive, but kind and full of statements such as, "I hope you feel better soon" (always followed with a smile). To the students, thank you; to the parents, you have some good eggs on your hands. They are reminding me how much I really enjoy being around them and teaching them.
  • Second, since I have been out, it has forced me to remain on the perimeter more than I normally would be and just kind of watch what is happening. In Art 1 we are working on a series of small watercolor landscapes. This is one of the most challenging things we will do this year. As I watch the students work, I am impressed. There are some lovely decisions being made, and from across the room I can see them thinking and processing and putting together a lot of pieces that we have been working on all year. This is so exciting! As a parent and a teacher it is hard to let go at times because you know what "could be" done (or just how we as experienced adults would do it), but we all have to remember that all these adolescents are still just kids, and they need the time and space to figure out their own decisions. I'm seeing some smart decisions, and I can't wait to see the end results!
  • Don't forget that Thursday, 2/7, is the opening reception for the oil painting exhibition in the Town Council Chambers from 6-7:30.
  • Registration: I know the window officially closes on 2/5, but students can always change directly with their counselor later as needed. Honestly, almost every one of the students I am working with this year should be signing up for Art 2 and Art 3 respectively. If you have any questions please let me know.
    A few things to remember based off some questions I've fielded this week: Art 3 gets students the Applied Art credit they need for graduation - always a bonus; there are massive benefits not just for h.s., but also for college admissions, for students to take multiple years of Art (yes, I can give more specifics if you want, but I don't just say this as an Art teacher, but because this is backed up by experts in several different fields); there is no need to take more than one science class per year to be highly qualified for college - this goes counter to what many people want to think (especially if you want your student to pursue something science related), but the truth is, no colleges expect more than four sciences, but all colleges want students that are creative thinkers, and these Art classes are some of the most challenging in terms of "figuring stuff out" and forcing complex thinking processes out of the students; it is amazing how much you have to figure out in order to create a drawing and painting from scratch.
  • Then, tutorial, as we near the end of a grading period, I know there are some - especially in Art 1 - that would benefit from "extra time". While there are many many students who positively use this time, it shouldn't come as a surprise that many student who could most benefit from this time aren't using it. Please encourage accordingly.
  • Last, feedback. Everyone knows I give a lot of this, and I document as much as possible in Canvas. Students are expected to use the feedback given to make changes and adjustments when necessary. With nearly every assignment there is a window for students to make changes to what they've done. Again, please encourage accordingly.
Well, that wasn't quite as short as it could have been, but I tried. I wish you all a restful weekend. That is my one big goal, personally!


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