Thank you to all the listmembers that offered up advice in response to my
post titled : "Paint Pangs"
I gained great insight into the elementary art class and look forward to
applying the clever tips you all offered up.
However, I do want to clarify a few things:
1. The paint problems did not occur because there was a substitute in the
class. I am sure some of the slovenly behavior was informed by my absence,
but the sub I used was not new to the school or the art
room. The poor clean up and waste has been ongoing, despite my many
instructions for proper use of the paint and cleanup.
2. The students are 8th graders and they have been given rather thorough
material use and clean
up training. The students have had to demonstrate their knowlege of proper
material use and clean
up before they were allowed to use the paint. I have gone over the cleanup
steps during each lesson we've used paint be it acyrlic or watercolor. The
studio upkeep policy is part of the course syllabus and each student and
their caregivers/parents signed an agreement for classroom conduct. etc.
3. I do not usually clean up after students, especially students that are
10 weeks from being high school students. I spent a planning period
cleaning the classroom because the paint waste was clearly visible and if
I left it the way I found it, I had no assurances that the custodial staff
would clean up the mess, they barely sweep and mop the classroom.
4. I had decided before I posted the list to assign pallettes and brushes
to the students. Your tips affirmed my idea. The next nine weeks I will try
this plan and if all goes well I will implement it next school year.
5. I think having students pay for damaged equipment and materials is a
great idea that I will build into the
syllabus next academic year. I will make note of it this next quarter in a
less formal way via a letter to parents.
6. The students I am working with work really slowly and to lose two,three
or more workdays
on a project is like a week or more...I can't really see a way to stop work
on projects when I am off.
I have used videos and drawing assignments when I've had a sub, but to do
that on a prolonged basis
would mean a major loss of production time.
7. I have counted on the remediation of skills(paint cleanup) and the
supervision of the students to be enough to get the students to use the
paint wisely and to cleanup well. I will continue to use art monitors
to clean the sinks, tables,etc. I hope the new assignment of palettes and
brushes reduces the paint pangs for the remainder of the year.
8. Students are kept after class to clean up their messes. There are
however times when things slip by the teacher in a jammed packed 45 min.
9. I still think that privilige and a lofty sense of entitlement fuels the
kids attitudes about cleaning up behind themselves. Also, many of these
kids don't do any chores at home. To know that being wasteful and
slovenly is wrong is one thing, but consciously working at being mindful of
what one uses and actively maintaining a shared workspace is another thing
all together. To be conscious and to think are not always the concepts
these students have taken to heart or have seen modeled in their home or
Y R. Brown