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From: Sharon Henneborn (heneborn_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Mar 08 2004 - 09:21:38 PST


Dale started or revisited an interesting thread.

 From my point of view:
I write to benefit me. It helps me clarify my thoughts just as drawing
helps me clarify my observation.
I am vein enough to want my teaching ideas to go beyond my limited
classroom. I was just this weekend sending email information on a
tessellation lesson to a fellow teacher and as I typed and checked for
clarity I figured out a solution to a problem that had bothered me for
years.

If I have discovered/developed something that works well for me I want
to know that it can spread out to students all over the world! Why
should my fellow teachers put the work into something I have already
developed. They can then spend energy on what they are developing and
send out to share.

Many years ago I came to teaching art with no training except for one
pitiful class in teaching arts and crafts to my credit. I was thrown
into teaching 4th, 5th and 6th graders. Each class had 5 hours of art
a week with a $90 budget total. You can believe I needed to glean
where ever I could and did! Resources were many fewer then so I
depended on people to educate me. What I owe them for helping me I
will repay to those who come after me.

Years later I was teaching observational drawing and viewpoint to 7th
and 8th graders. The Superintendent brought some visitors through the
classroom several times toward the end of the lesson as the students
were finishing the assignment. Then he came back by himself. I
thought I was being observed and asked if there was a problem. He said
he had noticed that there was in every class after class 100%
involvement and all the work was outstanding. "Statistically there
should be a few who don't get it, most would be expected to do
acceptable work and a small percentage would be doing outstanding work.
  What are you doing to get this level of work from all your students?"
I did not have an answer and was taken by surprise. I had not been in
any other art classes so I had no comparison. "Then it is time to
analyze what you are doing to achieve this success and spread it
around to the rest of us so we can do use it to!"

He set me up with a challenge. There are some areas where I feel that
I succeed so I started looking critically. When I thought I was ready
I braved presenting a tessellation workshop then an observational
drawing workshop for the NJ and then NAEA convention. All of us cannot
know everything about everything so we depend on our peers to share
their ideas and successes so we can GLEAN, GLEAN. GLEAN ;<)

I really get off on visiting student art shows around the state and
see evidence that my ideas have spread so far. Credit? Don't need it.
More than enough just seeing that it has been useful and many young
artists have experienced lessons that I developed and others have
expanded. It is especially rewarding now that I can no longer teach
in the classroom after the head injury. It is good to know that what I
developed over many years of teaching will not disappear when I am out
of the classroom.

I have written this whole story before. I felt the need to revisit
because I want to encourage everyone to look at what you are doing and
share what may be helpful to your fellows. If you can't find the time
now then keep gleaning! That is what we put it out there for.

Sharon ~ NJ

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