I am clay-phobic; I am truly scared of teaching it. I am scared of broken
pieces (which equal broken student hearts), of kiln meltdowns, of running
out of clay and glaze before each child has had ample opportunity, and
especially scared of the MESS of clay. When I moved into the room in which I
currently teach, everything was covered with a nasty film of clay dust. It
was filthy. I spent so much time trying to get the room clean, I had not
enough time to organize and get the room ready in other ways. Given that I
have a brand new digital projector (ceiling-mounted, so I cannot easily
cover it) and ActivBoard in my artroom, I am especially fearful of the dust,
as I do not want to compromise my technology.
This year I utilized air-dry clay and polymer clay, but I need to be able to
move beyond that to let my students work with ceramic clay.
Every tip and suggestion and success story helps to gently push me toward
including ceramic clay into my curriculum. Eventually I will overcome my
fear, and will wonder why I thought it was such a big deal, why I put it off
for so long. (At least I hope I will get to that point! I hope that when I
finally do have m breakthrough, I won't regret it and say, NEVER AGAIN!"!!!)
So, thank you to everyone who shares about positive clay experiences. I hope
to one day join the ranks!