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yank_eh

Help for a Rookie Art Teacher

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All of the sudden I'm an art teacher :blink: I just graduated with an art degree this summer (with no teaching credentials) and in a matter of one week I became a grade 8/9 art teacher at a small Christian school as an emergency hire.

Needless to say I am a little unprepared and am scrambling to come up with good assignments, let alone a whole cohesive curriculum!

So I'm wondering if any of you have any good ideas for art assignments/projects for a class of 20 with next to no supplies or funding. Maybe some of you are art teachers. Or maybe you remember your favourite art project from school. Or you just have some good ideas.

Anything (Ideas, advice, resources) will help!

Thanks!

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First of all, congratulations! You're in a position to make some key contributions in the lives of these 20 students, and I wish you well.

Can you narrow this down a little bit -- are you teaching art appreciation/history, or are you dealing with artistic expression? Are you dealing with just visual arts, or are you teaching music or literature as well? And what are the constraints you are working under: budget, theology, subject matter or anything else?

And what are YOU excited about? What have you learned that you hope all Grade 8/9 students also learn?

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Ok, Tim, a quick reply now and hopefully a more thorough one later.

The course is called Visual Art. Art History and Art Appreciation will play a minor supporting role but the emphasis is on art-making skills, visual literacy, and the ability to talk intelligently about art and visual culture.

Budget: unknown but very limited. I have to come up with a plan and talk with administration and then supplement whatever they give me by asking the parents to fork over more dough.

Theology: it is an evangelical school that is generally ok with anything that falls under the broad banner of orthodox Chrisitanity. It is the parents that are most limiting in this area; I am likely to hear about it if anything falls too far from some ultra-conservative/fundamentalist sensibilities.

Subject Matter: Again this is not prescribed but the biggest factor in choosing subject matter would be parents, who certainly have a stake in what their kids are learning. I have no problem being a little controversial to provoke serious thinking but I can't rock the boat too much.

Facility: we have a regular classroom that is not ideal for art-making (ie. very little storage, very little room to spread out, small desks) but it does have a little sink and some natural light.

As for what I am excited about, I will have to talk more about that tomorrow. Right now I need to sleep.

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Another congrats! I'm a little jealous, although 8/9th graders wouldn't be my first pick (I'd prefer older students, probably college if I had a choice. There's a very remote chance I could adjunct at the Christian U. in town; it was brought up by another art prof, but they don't really have the resources to do what they were talking about right now, to my knowledge.).

Just thinking out loud at the whole situation, I think I'd try and come up with projects that fit the scale of your resources. Perhaps supplementing this small scale with some lectures on things of larger scale would help give a more rotund vision

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there are myriad 'how to draw' books out there - i like zodhiates ' the natural way to draw, as well as "a contemporary approach to drawing" - lots of exercises. there is also a book called 'discovering great artists' that migth be good, though it is a bit 'young' for your purposes. there are also many online resources - try the art:21 series through pbs.org - great! teacher's resource for projects - as well as the getty institute. there are a number of american art education organizations - try exploring their sites as well as places like dia arts centre and ps1. many contemporary art galleries do a lot of educational programming.

also, look into tim rollins (google him! google him! google him!) + k.o.s. (kids of survival). his situation was even worse than yours - the poorest school in the poorest burrough of ny - no windows, no working sink and only pencil and paper for art supplies with 'problem children'. yet somehow, they went on to exhibit internationally with works in most major contemporary art collections, and many of the original students have gone on to higher education (whether undergrad, masters, phds, etc). you can read about him online, at his website and in romaine's book. there's also a podcast from a series called stirring culture online at acad.ab.ca. i think iamny also has an essay on him online.

i'll have to go digging through my old education curator files to see if i can find you more resources.

Edited by techne

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One of my favorite high school art projects (in terms of technical development) was drawing crushed soda cans with colored pencil. Easy set up, and it forced students to take a different look at something they'd normally consider trash.

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Thank you everyone for your helpful replies! I haven't looked at everything in depth yet but what I have checked out has been very helpful. Please keep the ideas coming! Feel free to PM me too, especially if you know any practicing art teachers who might be willing to give me any advice and/or share their syllabus with me.

PS- I found out recently that the gentleman who teaches across the hall from me--one Alan Chattaway--is none other than Peter's father! I am now Arts & Faith's official source for PTC dirt ;)

PPS - does anyone else find the above 'winking smiley' less than satisfactory? It looks like he just heard a painfully bad joke or ingested Buckleys.

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yank_eh wrote:

: PS- I found out recently that the gentleman who teaches across the hall from me--one Alan

: Chattaway--is none other than Peter's father! I am now Arts & Faith's official source for PTC dirt ;)

:blink:

With a moniker like "yank_eh", I never would have guessed. Weird. Now we HAVE to meet. :)

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apologies for my prolonged absence from the very thread I created. Many responses are in order:

Peter, I would love to meet you some time. Do expect to visit you dad at work anytime? Let me know. As for my screen name: I am a Canadian living in the states. PS- do you go to St. Herman's? We may have already met...

Aht Teachuh, I basically started the year working through Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. That has gone pretty well. I have a few other books that have given me a few good assignment ideas. Are you looking for individual assignments or resources or what? you say you are in a similar situation; can you elaborate? what exactly are you teaching. One great resource that I have yet to tap into fully that I found out about at a recent WA state art education conference is the Bellevue School District's Curriculum website. They have made great focused and concerted strides in their curriculum and they have made it all public.

Jim Janknegt, thanks for the reminder of Sister Wendy

kenroar, that website is a GREAT resource!!

Buckeye, I like the crushed can idea.

Techne, thanks for the ideas. I saw a few Art:21 episodes in college and I think it might be a little too advanced for my kids, and maybe a little controversial for my school(?) (also, when you mentioned The Natural Way to Draw, did you mean Nicolaides?) I might have to pick your brain some more on museum ideas. I'm clueless in that area.

everyone else, again thank you.

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yank_eh wrote:

: Peter, I would love to meet you some time. Do expect to visit you dad at work anytime?

Hmmm, he's been teaching for over a year and I've never visited his school before. It never even occurred to me to do so. I'll have to think about that ...

: PS- do you go to St. Herman's? We may have already met...

Oh weird -- yes I do go there, but when would we have met?

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Peter, I was a TWU student the last several years and attended St. Herman's for several months. I think we started going regularly in the Fall of '04. After a few months though we switched to St. Innocent's in Everson since it's significantly closer to Bellingham, where we live. I don't specifically remember meeting a Peter but we met and ate with a lot of different people.

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Have you considered small mixed media or found object projects? Also, what about a collaborative probject (I'm wondering now if I've already mentioned the latter in this thread.)?

Adding: And what about copper foil tooling?

Edited by Chashab

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yank_eh wrote:

: Peter, I was a TWU student the last several years and attended St. Herman's for several months. I

: think we started going regularly in the Fall of '04.

Huh, and I've been going since the spring of '03. So yeah, we probably met. I'm good with faces but not with names, so if I saw you (or a picture of you), I would LIKE to think that I'd recognize you ...

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I regret to say your pictures don't ring any bells -- sorry about that! I'll blame it on the fact that I was busy getting ready to get married around the time you were attending -- y'know, kind of like how I was recently introduced to someone who has been attending our church for a few months, but I hadn't noticed her before, and I blamed this on the fact that I've been coping with newborns for the last little while. :)

If you're an art teacher, BTW, did you get to know Steve Quissy during your time at St. Herman's? He teaches art at Fraser Valley Christian High, now, I think.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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This was posted awhile ago. Are you still in need of ideas? I have been a bit in your situation with what I considered great training, but totally majoring in Fine Arts without going the art education route. Please let me know, and I can give you some ideas of the curriculum I developed and am using. Blessings, cathy vinson evinson001@columbus.rr.com

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