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Re: [teacherartexchange] New Job Jitters


From: Diane Gregory (gregory.diane55_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Aug 18 2011 - 11:18:17 PDT

Hi Sarah,

This sounds like an elementary art teaching position I had several years ago. 

You are correct.  The first thing to do is make an inventory of supplies,
equipment, supply storage and storage for on going projects.

The second thing to do is to get information about the students
themselves.  Perhaps your school principal or other teachers can give
you professional insight about the strengths and abilities of the
students at the school.  They can also give you dates and information
about special occasions or functions that you may want to integrate with your art program or be aware how it might affect your planning.

third thing you need to do is create a week by week frame work that can
fit on one or two pages for the entire year.  The framework should list
grade level, time taught, objectives, theme, media, themes.  This
framework is essential so that you can begin to plug in learning
experiences for each week so that you have only two or three
preparations as far as supplies, resources, storage.  You could create a table using Microsoft Word to help yourself get organized.  The idea
here is to organize your curriculum so as not to overwhelm yourself.  I
would use no more than 2 or 3 different media each week and
corresponding visual resources.  You can change up the assignment, but
keep the changes in media and resources to only 2 or 3 different media
or resources.  I would tend to divide the curriculum into 2D, 3D,and
mixed media.  I would probably do 2D and mixed media in the fall and 3D mixed media in the spring.

As you work through this framework, contact other teachers to see if you
can integrate any of your lessons with theirs.  They really don't need
to coincide at the same time.  You might just choose one or two
disciplines to integrate during your first year.

Fourth, develop a classroom management and discipline plan that works with your framework.  Make sure you have enough storage for supplies.  Develop a
traffic flow pattern and if necessary rearrange the furniture to
accommodate your framework.  Make sure you have enough storage for
on-going projects...600 students is a lot and you will need a system to
manage all of this. (When developing your framework, be sure to take
this into account.  You may want to minimize or plan for projects that
take on-going storage, if you have limited on-going space.)

Fifth, develop a support group from the community and other teachers.  Perhaps you can ask for volunteers and make contact with community resources
and parents and of course the PTA.

Sixth, develop scoring rubrics for each project that can be carried around
with you as you work with students in the classroom.  Part time jobs can have a way of becoming full time jobs at part time pay if you are not
able to do the work while at work.  I am trying out using my iPad 2 this fall as a way to evaluate student artistic performance (process and
product) using Pages, a great app for a number of things.  During class, I hope to visit with most students and evaluate their work in-progress
and completed while in class, thereby reducing my out of class workload.

There are, of course, many other things you could do, but this is enough for starters :-)

Best of luck.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams--Live the Life You've Imagined!
Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Dr. Diane C. Gregory
Associate Professor of Art Education
Director, Undergraduate & Graduate Studies in Art Education

----- Original Message -----
> From: sarah k <>
> To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <>
> Cc:
> Sent: Thursday, August 18, 2011 11:47 AM
> Subject: [teacherartexchange] New Job Jitters
> After working at a small, private, Catholic, elementary and middle
> school for three years, I am starting in September at one of the five
> public middle schools in my city! I am super excited as I have been
> trying to get my foot in the door for years, and am really thankful
> for this opportunity to keep growing as a teacher.
> I will be transitioning from about 250 kids, grades 2-8, to upwards of
> 600 middle school aged kids. I'm nervous to say the least. I know I
> have been hired because I (appear to) know what I am doing, but with
> no curriculum in place to follow, just the MA state frameworks as
> guidelines (which I've basically taught to in the past) I have to
> start from scratch again and I'm a little overwhelmed. Aside from an
> introductory name design or mandala, I need to start organizing some
> units and/or lessons and nail down what supplies I have to work with.
> Does anyone have any advice for organizing a middle school curriculum?
> What materials (and brands) are a must have for a successful program?
> More over, does anyone have any advice for a first year, part time,
> middle school art teacher (whose going back to school part time
> herself)?
> You can find some of my lessons, and some other experiences, on my
> blog:
> Thank you, as always, for your guidance and advice! Feel free to email
> me off the list as well.
> Sarah Kerns
> Art
> Broad Meadows Middle School
> Quincy, MA
> ---
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