From: Pam Whisenhunt - firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Randy's question about independent time
I am on the same page with Randy in trying to give kids more time to do
independent work. Among other issues, many of the kids I have are so stressed
from having tow the line in their academics, I can sense that sometimes there is
resentment that they have to also do what the art teacher presents. With my
9th graders, who only meet 2x/wk, finding extra time is almost impossible, but
every 2 or 3 weeks I try to give them a day of choice: either use the time
to finish up some work
from their portfolios or work on a drawing/small project of thier choosing.
With my 10th grade (our high school is new; we are adding a grade a year and
right now only have 9 & 10), I am building in one long term project per
quarter as they have art 4x/week. They are generally enthusiastic about their own
projects, and I am available for guidance and help when they get stuck.
Think it is really important human training, not just for art, that you have time
to develop your own ideas!
Two of my favorite references on the matter of choice come from Sondheim's
musical, "Sunday in the Park With George" in the song "Move On"". . . . anything
you do, let it come from you, then it will be new. . . . . " Also, at the
end, George stands in front of a giant blank canvas and exclaims,
"SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!". . . . . .