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John Tiemann wrote:
> Hi artsedneters!
> 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!