March is Youth Art Month (YAM). It is a way for us to advocate the importance of art in schools, as well as promote our students' artwork. Each teacher can submit up to five works of art from their students. From there they are sent to regionals where students have the chance to win awards for their work. The works are then sent to the state capital in Wisconsin where they are displayed. The students are always so enthusiastic to have their artwork showcased. I was lucky enough to have three outstanding artists who had their art shown at the capital. I also had the privilege of student teaching with Kathy Bareis who gave a speech at the capital for YAM. To make things even more awesome, one of our students was chosen to give a speech about how art builds bridges. Let me tell ya, I am one fortunate and proud art teacher. Sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to make it to the capital to see the speech (I was subbing for Kathy). I am proud of each and every one of my students, whether they were featured in YAM or not. Here is a video of my student speaking at the capital. Excuse me while I try not to cry!
I finally had the opportunity to get back in the art room and sub. I was lucky enough to be subbing in one of my cooperating teachers' classrooms so I knew the routine. Here is a quick one or two day lesson that we do with our Adaptive students.
Students are given a sheet of blank address labels. They use markers to color the labels. They then cut the labels into thin strips. Lastly, they peel and stick the labels onto a sheet of paper. The adaptive students often find the peeling and sticking part of the project to be very therapeutic.
My friend and mentor, Jen Dahl (check out her blog at: http://jendahl.weebly.com/), has been harping on me about posting something new. It has been a little over a month since I have graduated. In the meantime, I have begun to dabble in substitute teaching while also putting in some volunteer hours at local schools.
Subbing has been pretty eye opening. Up to this point, I have had the opportunity to sub in a preK class, 2nd grade class, middle school special ed (for a couple days), and high school phy ed. Each of these experiences has helped me to realize what other teachers go through on a day-to-day basis. It is a whole different ball game having the same students all day long, rather than for only 45 minutes like my art classes are. I have a lot of respect for all teachers of any grade level or content. While subbing, I have also learned that classroom management styles need to change depending on who I am teaching. While I haven't had much of a problem with classroom management in the art room, I have learned that I need to utilize different approaches in other settings. I have loved having the opportunity to get back to the schools that I student taught in and see the kids though. I feel like a local celebrity while getting mobbed in the hallways by my past students. It helps to quell any doubts that I may have had about the students disliking my class.
With my newfound free-time outside of subbing, I have taken the opportunity to put in some volunteer hours. While being cooped up in my house, I was beginning to grow more restless than Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I have spent some time helping out at DeLong Middle School and Black River Falls Elementary Schools in my free time. I enjoy being able to observe and help out with other classes that I don't typically get to experience. I also had the opportunity to help with Tasha Newton's art room which was a blast. She's an awesome educator and you can check out her blog here: http://iartmyjob.weebly.com/
Last week, I also had the chance to help display artwork at a local clinic in Eau Claire. The clinic came to the art teachers in the district and asked whether we would like to display our students' artwork on their walls. We jumped at the opportunity to promote our students' work. The clinic looks beautiful now with artwork being displayed from every school and grade level in Eau Claire.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA Membership Chair.