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I have recently accepted a position at a Visual and Perfoming Arts High
School in Missouri and was needing a little help getting started in my new
position as a ceramic intructor. I would appreciate any comments,
suggestions, lesson plans, etc that anyone out there can help me with
concerning the few concerns of mine....
1. I have found out that the previous teacher in this position was quite
laid back about writting lesson plans and enforcing any type of discipline
in the classroom. Of course, because of this, the students loved him because
they could get away with anything! How do I, as a young new graduate, lay
down the law throughout the first few weeks of school and still have the
students like me and give me their all, after they have been used to a lacks
program. I am afraid that they will shut down all together and hate me
because I actually care about them and want them to learn something! Any
beginging tips for me here?
2. I have taught ceramics to other high school students and have had great
success, but the work produced was never at a high quality that I am used
to. However, it was great progress compared to the beginning projects being
produced at the start of the year. Many of the students didn't have an
interst in being there but I was able to get them interested in the projects
and get some positive results. Now here's my second problem, these students
at my new position are classified as gifted... how do I keep them motivated
and interested in the topic without them flying through the project in less
than an hour (in a 2 hour class) and sitting there bored the rest of the
time? I am not very experienced in working with the gifted, especially at
the high school level. What do others of you do in order to keep their
interests. What are common problems or stories you would like to share to
help me prepare for such situations?
3. My college never offered any type of class concerning glaze chemistry or
clay mixing. Are there any teachers out there that have any recipies or
suggestions that would make my job a little less time consuming before and
after school? I believe I will have to make all my own glazes and clay
bodies. Can someone tell me the differences between stoneware, earthenware,
and terra cotta clay bodies? What are the ranges between low fire and high
fire. The school has access to doing pit firings.... what steps do you take
at your school when pit firing?
I know this is a lot to ask everyone, but I know that there is at least one
person out there that can enlighten my mind with some outstanding advice! I
hope to hear from you soon. Many thanks in advance, and have a great summer
before the race begins!