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RE: Advice (Please!) for New Art Teacher (K-12)


From: JMJ Smith (jmj_s_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 03 2004 - 20:18:43 PDT

I really appreciate all of the good advice I've received so far. Please keep it coming! To answer your questions, wellj44, I am picking up where another art teacher left off. She was the art teacher for about nine years. Unfortunately, I didn't get a change to meet with her before she left. I do have copies of her lesson plans, but they are really just sentences of what she covered each week. For example, February 16-2, 2004, "Grade 2--Neutral Colors--using circles and squares to design checkerboards and checkers." "Junior High- Complete stained glass project, learning to design, cut, choose color scheme. Begin Ojo Dios weaving projects." I will be starting the high school art program from scratch (one class of 9th - 12th graders approximatley 15 to 20 students.) Last year, the high school art class was strictly graphic arts.
I will have my own art room with lots of windows and a big lockable closet filled with supplies. My heart started beating fast when I first unlocked the door to "my" stash of paints, brushes, markers, paper, colored pencils (even Prismacolor!), etc.
My Principal said I could use some of the previous art teacher's lessons or come up with my own--whatever I want to do. He wants to see my lesson plans for the first half of the year by mid-July so that we can order any supplies that are needed.
Wellj44 and Judy, I really like your suggestions to group lessons for several grade levels--at least for the first year. Your advice is very similar to my husband's (he teaches 8th graders!). He told me to do what I can to get through the first year and I can always tweak/change lessons the second year. I really need to concentrate on surviving my first year. Hubby said don't try to be super teacher the first year--it takes time.
I really enjoy reading through all of your archived posts and looking at the teacher web sites and lesson plans posted at Getty Artsednet. I think my problem is going to be narrowing down my plans--there are so many good ones out there! I'm so glad I found all of you! I'm going to get myself a copy of EMPHASIS ART, too! Thanks again!
Michelle wrote:
Hi, Michelle. You've got what is often a typical teaching load for someone in a private school, and you've received some really good advice so far, ie: 1)Own a copy of EMPHASIS ART, and 2)try to use the same lesson plans for several levels, at least for your first year. For example, if you use the same set for K-4 (making slight adjustments), 5&6 (your one-day-a-weeks), 7&8(your one-semesters), and Art I, that is already four unit plans every week! The second year, you will make new plans for 1-4, 6, 8, etc. I don't know if this makes sense. You might be able to simplify your life by having many of your levels work with the same materials at the same time, but introducing age-appropriate themes, motivations, 'projects' for each one or two levels. Later, J.

Are you starting 'fresh'? or are you picking up where another art teacher has left off? Obviously, this will be a factor in your plans. Also, perhaps you can tell us about your facilities. Art on a cart? A room of your own? J.

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