Dana: I've decided the first of the school year is both the best (I get to see students) and the worst (I see what new tortures await me in terms of whittling away time. It may be for you, too.
I really like your self-awareness level: too many times, teachers just quit reflecting on their practice. I hope that while you're contemplating what you do, that you also reflect on what works.
As a second-career art teacher whose been at it for more than a decade, I know that there are plenty of times I've felt inept, particularly when a new program has been introduced, or a new duty has been added. it's burdensome.
For me, what made the difference was going through the National Board process. It was terribly hard in terms of time and commitment, but I feel freer to "experiment" in the class room, based on what my students need. And I guess that's what my final message to you would be--feel free to consider this "Learning Focused" method part of what you use to experiment in class. No experiment works 100% of the time, for 100% of the subjects.
From: Dana Paternoster <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2009 7:55:09 PM
Subject: [teacherartexchange] Learning Focused
Hi, our school in Delaware is adopting the Learning Focused model of making and delivering lessons. I was wondering if anyone is doing this, and what your opinion is? I am the only art teacher in our school, and I teach high school Art I, II, III, and IV.
Is it working for you?
Is it a whole lot more work for you?
Does it give the amazing results that it promises?
Do you use it every day?
How often do you actively teach through a lesson that takes the kids a long time to actually make their artwork?
So far all we have been trained on is writing lesson and doing frequent short assessments. What I am hoping for are different ways to deliver the message to the students. In college I studied art and then took a few education classes which really told us NOTHING about how to sucessfully deliver or teach a lesson. Everything seemed based around speaking to kids one-on-one, which I can not base a lesson for 32 students in a class on. Now, 9 years later, I think I am just finally beginning to catch on. It has been a very hard road that I have tried and tried to get off of, but just can't seem to find another path in life. I must say that this list serv has been an endless source of ideas and encouragment.