I am up around 5:30 each day. Fruity Pebbles and a
banana, shave, shower, out the door. Around 25
minutes travel time to the middle school.
We are on block schedules and a six day schedule. I
have grades 6, 7, and 8 each day with lunch duty on
days 1 and 2 from 11:50 until 12:20. I have my
wonderful Life Skills (learning disabled, one child
with Autism) on day 5 from 11:20 until 11:50.
Grade 6 begins each day at 7:45 until 9:20.
Grade 7 follows a brief prep period and runs from 9:50
until 11:20 when their lunch begins. Another prep
period runs until 1:00 unless I have lunch duty or the
Life Skills students, but normally I have students who
have asked for passes to visit the art room to
complete work or do "free art" - experiment with
watercolors, clay, or simply draw for fun. If you
visit my room, you'll normally find a tray from the
cafeteria there because that's where I usually eat my
Grade 8 is from 1:00 until the end of the day at 2:30.
If the students are working with clay, I've been
cleaning up because I want them to use ever minute of
the period to complete their work - clay dries up so
quickly even using a "damp cabinet" and double/triple
plastic bagging their work.
If they're working with watercolor, tempera, etc.,
then they're held responsible for a good cleanup.
Backtracking here, I arrive at school a little bit
before 7, check my mailbox, open the doors, cleanup
any messes I left behind from the previous day, grab
some coffee in the media center with Phyl, Paula, and
I chat a little with these three very supportive
fellow Shippensburg personnel. It's so important to
have someone to laugh with and gripe with. I feel
very lucky to have this group get-together in the a.m.
Then it's off to the room to review where each class
is and to stack "what goes where and who does what" -
piles of art work in progress or items completed and
ready to grade.
The sixth graders have Art History Minute (single
slide projected on a sheet of white poster paper taped
to the blackboard) followed by an art activity related
to the slide. They enjoy this immensely! I picked up
the package of slides by way of Amazon.com - they're
at school or I'd mention the name of the series.
Sensational ideas and very well received by the
I run the same lessons for each grade level - grade
six all on one project, grade seven all on one
project, and grade eight all on one project, but each
student is at a different point along the scale from
"not started" (absent or slow to start) to "finished"
(talented or slip-shod, "lemme get this done") and so
I've found that I've got to have many lesson plans to
keep everyone busy.
My planning periods are normally spent running around
either finding students, grabbing lunch, monitoring
students who visit the art room, chatting with "lost
souls" or the curious student who wants to see what's
going on in the art room, and more!
I'm always in during the weekends, preparing lesson
plans, creating exemplars so the student has an idea
of what can be done using the various media and
techniques (but I always emphasize that I want them to
do "their own" work and not copy mine), grading,
reading journal entries, cleaning up, firing or
stacking the kiln, ... there is always something.
Yeah, I feel like I could use five of me.
An eighth grader said to me at the end of class, "I
don't know if I could be a teacher. Everyone needs
you all at the same time." He's a quiet student and I
was surprised to hear him say exactly what I was
thinking. I told this to the teacher I commute with
as I was driving home. He said that he hopes the
student remembers that feeling when it's time for him
to pay taxes!
I laughed and I hope Tim Thompson (the 8th grade
student) thinks of me in the years ahead... "That
bald-headed ... really had it rough. Teachers sure do
earn their keep."
Anyway, I'm rambling but wanted to add my $0.02 and
say that I'm enjoying reading everyone's schedule.