I admit it! I am a jealous person sometimes. Right now I am especially envious of all art teachers who have sinks, white boards and/or any type of technology to use in their teaching. I have tables and stools and a nasty old chalk board with so much dried on hot glue that it cannot be used. Art teachers with less than 30 students in a class are on my list of those to envy also. I really am very glad to have a job at all and although the ability of my students is very low due to lack of access to the arts and art education, I try to cling to the little advances I do see in their development.
My school is in a very poor neighborhood. My kids are growing up in less than ideal circumstances with very little parental encouragement. When the majority of the 5-7 year old kindergarten students say, "I can't. I don't know how." before I even hand out materials, I have to dig in and remind myself that I may be the only person today to tell them that they can!
I spent my Sunday checking out many art teacher blogs and felt queazy after seeing the things others have to use to help in their instructional process as well as what they are able to get their students to do; white boards, smart boards, projectors, ipads, digital cameras, brushes that are not 80 years old, etc. I am jealous, yet impressed and know that someday I will see process and product that is as amazing as what I see from so many other teachers.
I spent much of last Friday teaching fifth graders how to hold the scissors so they can cut with some precision. What they produced is not "good" by visual standards. They should have been able to complete the project in the 90 minute period we had, yet many in the class hardly started for fear of messing up and doing it wrong. Through all the negatives I initially see, I stop and realize that the process was progressive in their development. I am content with the knowledge that the next time they may worry less about how to cut and more about what they are cutting. Here are some images of what was to be a patterned picnic rug with a camouflaged bug: