Monday, April 30, 2012

Back in the Day


I was young and green and possessed of the belief that I could do anything I put my mind and my effort to.  So I took a job teaching sixth graders, notwithstanding that the only experience I had with that was my own attendance as a child in a sixth grade class.
As it turned out, this small township school provided me with twenty-four sixth grade students for whom I was responsible  from 7:50 A.M. until 3:20 P.M., except during the weeks that I had "late bus duty."  Then I got to go home at four.

This was called a "self-contained classroom," which simply meant that I got to present the entire curriculum to the learners, including art.  I am not an artist, had no practical experience in art beyond a course in art history (which I liked very much) and my own coloring-book when I was a wee child.

So, naturally in my belief that I could succeed at anything, including the teaching of art lessons to these youngsters, I enrolled in "Teaching Art in the Elementary Classroom."  I still have a few examples of the efforts I made in order to learn the presentation of a lesson or a technique to the students.

The first example is called  "batik."  Almost convinced myself I had talent.   The second is a painting-- a finger painting.  I successfully removed the mess from my hands and clothing.  My favorite piece is a chalk drawing.  If I find it somewhere in all this stuff, I may post it later.

8 comments:

Shelly said...

I have always been thankful that in all my years of teaching middle school, I've never had to teach certain subjects; mainly math, but art would have to be up there, too. It looks like you had fun with the kids while you taught them, a sure sign of success.

Lin said...

God bless you, Vanilla. That must have been a challenge! Not only did you have sixth graders, but you had to teach them everything??? Wow.

Grace said...

I rather like the first one over the second one...

vanilla said...

Shelly, oh, it is so much fun to prep six and eight lessons per day. And math is magical!

Lin, thank you. Fun days. Last week I received an invitation to the forty-fifth reunion of the third class of sixth graders I taught. That means the first class graduated forty-eight years ago. Egad!

Grace, me too. That black, reedy mess suggests I must have been in a "mood" when I selected my color?!

Vee said...

I well remember the days of the self-contained classroom. Mine was first grade. They were too young to be art critics. You were not so lucky - sixth-graders would know if you were messing up the art project.

vanilla said...

Vee, true; but they were kind to me. Or, perhaps I should say, we learned together.

Sharkbytes said...

You know, just letting kids be creative in various media beats no art all to pieces!

vanilla said...

Shark, I am saddened by the move on the part of some school boards to eliminate the arts as a cost-cutter, wrongly designating them as “frills.” But the classroom teacher can take up some of the slack with dedication and effort. Well, of course with all the mandates, “time to teach” is often the victim of bureaucracy. Oh, look, I’ve mounted a soapbox.