Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Back To High School For Me

So it's not really a secret that I'm going to school in oder to obtain a degree in art education. In order to become the awesome art teacher that I'm destined to be, I have to complete a 30 hour practicum in a classroom.

I would really like to teach high school students, but it took me a while to decide. At first I was thinking elementary school would be where it's at. My art teacher in elementary school really fostered my love of art. She never told me I did it wrong or bad, she was never mean, and I have to admit that it was a huge ego boost when my pieces of art were used as examples for all the other classes.

But then I thought about it some more and realized that even though in the elementary schools I could foster a love of art in students that may not otherwise be inclined to learn about it, high schoolers can do a lot more skill-wise. Sure there will be a few kids whose art still belongs in kindergarten, but generally high schoolers' motor skills are more developed. Which means I can attempt harder assignments that are difficult but very gratifying.

I completely ruled out middle school because that's where cliques form, puberty happens, and it's generally just an awkward stage of life. Students are going through that "who am I?" phase, teasing is horrid (especially among girls) and I'd really just rather not deal with it, honestly.

So, back to my practicum assignment. Like I said, I have 30 hours of in classroom hours to complete. This involves observing my mentor teacher (who is awesome!) and teaching one lesson plan.

I was assigned to the art teacher at the high school in town. So far I love it. The first class is Drawing, so I'm at home there because if I'm comfortable with any artistic expression, it happens in the form of drawing. Everything else for me has been awkward so far. But drawing? I can do that.

The second class is sculpture. It's a young class - mostly sophomores. And it's loud. And it's sculpture. And it's daunting to me. I don't know an incredible amount about sculpture, so I'm uncomfortable helping students with their projects, but I try.

But today I was thinking about my own high school experience. You see, I didn't really like high school. I loved being with my friends, and all of our extra curricular activities, but I would make myself sick in the mornings dreading going to school. I quit eating breakfast. Eventually I got over that, but I was so glad the day I graduated (thinking I would never have to go back! HA!)

However, I left high school thinking I was going to become a dietician, so I didn't take many art classes. I took a few art classes in middle school and I took two art classes my freshman year of high school. But even though I enjoyed drawing, I loathed the teacher. She was a dictator.

Actually we referred to her as a Nazi teacher.

You see, her classroom had. to. be. silent. Absolutely no talking, and if you did she would dock you points. We only did assignments she told us to do, and we only worked with graphite. There was one assignment that worked with Prisma colored pencils and turpentine, but that was it. Everything else was drawing pencils.

So being in this high school's art room is a totally different experience. We're allowed to talk. The students have an open assignment in which they can use any medium they choose and they have all year to work on it. I'm a little jealous of them, because I think if my art class had been that way I would have advanced in my high school career.

Also what this practicum has done for me so far is renewed my want to become a teacher. After the hard summer I had and all the drama with that one boy I was losing my motivation to be here. I just wanted to run away, leave, go and never come back. I was all ready to become a Simba and go find my own Timon and Pumba.

Except that now Prince and I are on good terms (even though we aren't dating) (which is actually fine at the moment, we're back to being friends. We laugh and joke and hang out and have fun, which is what we're supposed to do, right?) Anyway, my stress level has lowered and combined with the fun I'm having in the high school I'm ready to stick it out for a little while longer.


  1. The art teachers at my high school were amazingly nice, and chill. Since it wasn't a requirement, most of the kids in the art classes wanted to be there.

    But I know what you mean about a teacher ruining something you obvious love and are great at now. I had a slew of mediocre/horrible English teachers. None of them inspired me. I think I started out as an Anthro major because I had an awesome relationship with just about every single history teacher I ever had.
    Crazy what the world hands us sometimes.

  2. I should not have been drinking hot coffee when I read about you going off to find your own Timon and Pumba! LOL!!! (*coffee up my nose*)

    Actually, I have Vanilla Carmel creamer in my coffee, which always makes me think of you for some reason. Seriously. Just pouring it a few minutes ago, I smiled and thought, "I wonder how Natalie is." That's why I'm here reading.

    I'm glad you're enjoying your practicum so much! This is such a happy post! Love it.

  3. So, first off, really enjoyed the Lion King reference, awesome.

    And it's awesome that you're really enjoying what you're doing, not everyone has that, so good for you!


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