I've had amazing support from the parents at my school, though. I shied away from painting with my young artists for the first month, uncertain how to organize and manage all of the materials and set up/clean up involved in such an endeavor. I must say that, with the help of my awesome parent volunteers, I've become quite the art cart painting pro. I still carefully plan each lesson with regard to materials and how to manage them in the time (40 min) and space available, but the thought of setting up a class of 24 students to paint in what essentially turns into 10-15 minutes by the time set-up and clean-up are factored in, doesn't terrify me anymore.
As I predicted, my organization skills have improved to a degree that shocks even me (though you wouldn't know it by looking at my "desk"...the other Specials teachers and I share an office space in what was a science lab in its former life.)
|My corner of the Specials office. I sit on the other side with |
my back to the shelves. This was taken a while back,
so there's even more stuff now.
I feel so limited in the projects that I do with my kids...everything has to be portable. I do actually paint quite often, but I stay far away from materials-intensive collage or anything else that requires small pieces and lots of clean-up. I papier-mached with my 6th graders last semester, and I don't think I'll be doing that again until I have a classroom.
|3rd grade students working on still life drawings in |
preparation for Matisse-inspired Fauvist collages.
Drawing classes are definitely the easiest logistically,
though it was tricky to find a suitable location in each
class to set up the still life.
I've found that there are more discipline problems when the students stay in their own classroom, as well. Anyone else feel that way? It's like walking into someone else's home and telling them to stop what they're doing, forget how things normally work in their home, and do things your way for a while. Oh, and by the way, I'm going to need to rearrange all of your furniture first; but don't worry, I'll put it back. I miss being able to define my own space, set up the desks/tables in a way that is efficient for art-making, have things available if students need additional materials or if a few finish early, and not having to set up and clean up the entire room six times a day.
I forget things now and then, too, haha. I have a couple of students in each class who know where my office is and where I keep things, so when I walk out without the extra pastels or glue sticks I meant to put on the cart, I just send someone back for them.
I'll stop complaining now. :) I really am so grateful to be able to continue teaching Art...that's something that was very uncertain last year when all but about 40 Art teachers in my county were laid off (there were over 200). And at least I won't have a classroom to pack up this year.
If there are any cart teachers still reading this, I'd love to know how you manage the materials and time. I'm doing okay, but I'm never opposed to suggestions!