Monday, October 17, 2011

Quick Thoughts on the 1st Day of the 2nd 9 weeks

Whew! Today went by fast!!

Nothing like having new students, new rules, new portfolio, new, new, new to make the day go by quickly.

As you all know, I've been writing a lot about engagement. As art teachers, I think we really strive to create learning environments that encourage authentic engagement. Honestly, I want my classroom to be an exciting, fun, and special place to be.

Today, to begin my 2nd 9 weeks I decided to ask my students to write about themselves. I gave everyone a notecard and instructed them to answer the three following questions:

1. Are you excited to be in Art?
2. List three things you hope you get to do in Art. (I told them to think of the wildest things!)
3. What is your dream? (I kept it general because I wanted to see how they would respond)

I explained to students that I wanted them to be honest, and that I wouldn't be upset or hold it against them if they weren't happy to be in Art class. I told them it was important to be honest, because I do want them to be excited in class. So, if I learn their dream is to be an NBA star, then I'll try to work basketball into the projects. The kids really, really, really loved this, and they were so honest.

And, wowza! I got some great responses and some amazing ideas for how to change my lessons to better suit my student's interests.

Here are some of the most popular "things" my students want to do in Art class:
-sculpting. EVERYONE wants to sculpt
-sewing. A lot of students want to learn to stitch
-computer art. Quite a few kiddos are into technology and/or are interested in game design.
-origami
-art with bubblegum. What a cool idea!
-go outside. YES!
-Jewelry. LOTS of requests for this.
-Play-Doh. I had a lot of mentions of play-doh. Interesting.

As for the dream question; I was pretty much humbled by their dreams. They range from being lawyers, veterinarians, artists, comic writers, doctors, ob/gyn's, Navy SEALs, Engineers, to being wealthy, living a good life, and helping others.

I was touched by so many of their dreams but this one left me teary. I leave you with this great response to "What is your dream?"

"I want to go and graduate from Emory University, become an orthodontist, and give my dad his dream of going around the world."

I hope your week is off to a great start!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I am so touched by that dream! Emory is an excellent school. My brother went there until he partied out. Ended up finishing at a local university. You can't make someone have a dream. I'm sure this student will make the most of it. The best thing we got from Emory was our dog. My brother couldn't handle the dog. . . so our family ended up with him (he was a frat dog) and eventually I took him! He is always my link to Emory. He even has/had his own F.B. page where all of his Emory frat brothers friended him and saw his adventures. He was a big part of campus our BLUE!

    I am so intrigued by kids who have totally realistic and smart dreams! Where do they get these ideas? I know I always wanted to be a children's book writer, who started a school for the arts, and photographed the best moments of peoples life in my own photography business. Hmmmm. . . I think an orthodontist is such a respectable dream!

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