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Re:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: August 18, 2011


From: Marcia Beckett (marciadotcom_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 19 2011 - 07:28:21 PDT

Here are my 2 cents.  First, RELAX!  You will do fine, especially if you have already taught for 3 years.  Are you going to be on a quarter system? Or will you see kids once per week?  That will make a difference in your organization.  Second, middle school is awesome and I loved teaching it when I did.  Third, you already must have a stockpile of lessons since you taught up to 8th grade before, right?  So you are not starting from scratch.  I teach K-6 so my curriculum would not help you out.  Start out very broad first, create a template where you plug in what media you would like to introduce each month.  I go month by month because it's easier for me to use that way.  Then, plug in elements, principle, art concepts and art history.  Don't worry if your curriculum is not finalized or perfect.  Just get an outline down for now.  As you work through the year and plan ahead, you can refine it, add, change and reflect upon what worked.  I
 would also talk with the other teachers in your school (again, as you go and get your feet wet) to see what they teach in their classes.  For example, if they teach about Egypt, that would be a good time to tie in Egyptian art.  Search online for "middle school art curriculum" or middle school art curriculum template and you will probably find a host of examples.  Also, I used the Virginia State Standards for guidance because they are VERY specific as to media and skills, whereas the ones from other states are sometimes pretty nebulous and wide open.  Does that make sense?   When I was working I needed specific things like "when is a good age to teach perspective?" and so forth. 

 Good luck!


Art Teacher, EAGLE School of Madison

View my blog for art lesson plans, photography and mixed media art.

Subject: New Job Jitters
From: sarah k <>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:47:57 -0400
X-Message-Number: 1

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

You can find some of my lessons, and some other experiences, on my

Thank you, as always, for your guidance and advice! Feel free to email
me off the list as well.

Sarah Kerns
Broad Meadows Middle School
Quincy, MA

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