We have a second semester class called Studio Art for seventh and eighth
graders--but only because we had few titles to choose from for a continued art
opportunity for those who want it. There are some issues. The kids sign up for
it a year in advance, so they really don't know if they will earn an A or B
in regular art. The counselors put kids in the class who never asked for it
and don't have the prerequisite. Lately, I have not had some kids who wanted to
take advanced work because they are being pulled out for remediation in math,
extra help in Algebra, or English/reading. Discouraging!
I don't run it as a real studio, because my seventh and eighth graders
don't have the experience to select a project and explore it in depth. I try to
build on what they learned in the regular art class, and encourage those who
are applying for advanced study in high school to build a portfolio and do a
lot of observational drawing at home.
The amazing part is that my kids make incredibly beautiful work! Many
struggle academically, but they are awesome artists, musicians, and performers.
Aren't we lucky to be art teachers?
Peace and Grace