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Discouraging Words


From: Elizabeth D. Abbott (edabbott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Oct 04 2003 - 07:18:26 PDT

Well after reading many of the comments I am going to put my brush
stroke in. Let us all stop and think about what we do and how we truly
impact our students work.

I love what I do. I love making art, and nothing makes me feel so alive
as when I see my students really expressing themselves. All of this is
based on a teaching/learning process and curve. Much of how we talk,
teach, guide, and yes assess student learning is based on the age
level, the individual needs of our students, maybe how we are teaching
that day, and sometimes even the overall dynamic of the class.

I think our students rush, underachieve, or just put forth little
effort because they are not given the opportunity to develop.

We have tough work to do............short class time, schedules that
are not ideal, traveling to student rooms............and yes, other
staff members who don't understand the value of art education.

So my point is...............It's all about building relationships with
our students and knowing why Robby rushes through his work (Robby has
underdeveloped motor skills for a second grader and a very short
attention span.) So it takes some time to redirect, know what his
skills are and through verbal critique make small steps in each
project to ask for more and more. What do we
say.......................well that should be as individual as the
students we teach.

I work along with my students, I am always walking around and
circulating giving feedback (telling them exactly what they can do to
be successful and showing them more correct ways if it is a specific
technique or skill they need to accomplish) There are no surprises if
you are moving through your class. Sometimes I will work with students
one on one (Yes this takes a lot of time and maybe it takes us 6 weeks
instead of 2 to complete a project).

We want our students to be successful; We want their projects to
reflect learning and effort ; and We wand them to just look great.
This takes time, time, time, and more time, and a really good sense of

Hope everyone has a really great week!