I watched a video this morning that hasn't seemed to leave my thoughts all day. So, while I was in the shower I had a genius thought...where most of my genius thoughts seem to occur. I am going to change the way I assess the students without having to change the projects at all. Let me explain and I would love to hear your thoughts on this as well.
I'm a middle school art teacher in the public school system. I am one of THREE elective teachers aside from P.E. and Band. So the probability of me getting a kid three years in a row is very HIGH. And sometimes those kids might be on the FIVE year plan. With that being said, although we'd like to give the kiddos a choice in which class they wanted to take, they are pretty much stuck taking all of us whether they like it or not.
SO, I get a handful every semester that tell me how much they HATE art...weirdos. I mean seriously! Who hates art at 12? That hurts my heart. Last Thursday, I had at least two people who like to hear themselves talk address how much they hate art on the first day. SUHWEET! Challenge accepted!
I always introduce the class with talking about getting exposure to all the different mediums...some of which they will hate and others they will love. But there is one thing I do know, EVERYONE loves at least one of them because we are all artists. We are all creatives. No one is going to be the BEST at everything, but it takes exposure and risks and persistence to find out. I try to keep the class full of positive energy, laughter, and sweet tunes. And all they seem to want as incentives is candy and to listen to their own tunes because not all seem to enjoy my deep focus instrumentals or my country music playlist.
I always tell the kids that I grade more on the PROCESS and not the end product, but do I? They have criteria for each project and they have to write an artist statement for each. Those are always my favorite because you really get to know the kids better and develop relationships after reading their thoughts. They will make you laugh, cry, and blow your mind! I tell them all the time that I love it when they get frustrated or challenge themselves or don't give up! But I haven't been grading them on that if I'm honest. That is the process.
These kids need to be persistent, obedient, patient, self-motivated, leaders...I could go on, but I think ya get what I'm saying.
Personally, I don't think very many teachers agree with the way students are tested and we all know the system is flawed, but we do what we HAVE to because we would like to keep doing what we WANT to...and that's teach kids.
What do I want to teach kids? How to create 2-point perspectives, watercolor techniques, and mixed media masterpieces? Well, heck yeah! That stuff is cool! But, I really want to give them exposure, teach them persistence, model obedience and patience. I want to teach them self-love and self-motivation. I want them to be fearless and serve others and become leaders. I want them to experience kindness and selflessness. I want them to give and receive gratitude and grace.
I AM EXCITED ABOUT 2017! I feel refreshed and although I know this semester will not be easy, I look forward to the challenge.
Do yourself a favor and watch this video: