SchoolArts Magazine

NOV 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 42 of 54

A ll art teachers face challenges. When considering budget cuts, grueling schedules, overcrowded classrooms, and the growing piles of paperwork, it's a wonder how we stay sane. How do we keep showing up for work when the odds seem stacked against us? Let's not waste time contemplating this and instead focus on the num- ber-one reason we do this in the first place—students. In the artroom, students have a freedom of expression that is not always present in other classrooms. It's the perfect place for students to practice independence and claim ownership of their work. This way of working can intimidate students but I emphasize to them that there are no right answers, but right mindsets and right efforts. By being honest with students, art teachers can better gain trust and appreciation. Art is a Process With standardized testing taking control of curriculum, students are constantly searching for the one right answer. This way of think- ing completely stifles the creativity and imagination of the young minds in my classroom. When a new art method is introduced, the room fills with sighs and complaints of it being too difficult. It is important to find a way to ease students into a new task and invite them to explore without jumping to conclusions. To do this, I like to give students the choice to add their own artistic style or spin on the final project. I P O I N T O F V I E W encourage them to make their own choices in the art process. I've found that along with the metallic paint, glitter crayons, and sequins, bizarre supplies excite students and motivate the ones who are struggling to get their creative juices flowing. Self-Esteem and Success Students often assume my "teacher example" is unachievable. I stress to them that my lessons are crafted for their success in the first place. I've come to realize that I must demonstrate and model each step of the art process so they can become comfortable with each step and gain confidence in their final work. Any practice activity is a great self-esteem booster, since my students always forget that art is a process and that it takes more than five minutes to com- plete a final project. Art takes time. Learning takes time. Sure, trying Choices and Challenges CONTINUED ON PAGE XX. Kristen Colquhoun Caption Tr ing something new can be scar , but that is how students will grow. 8 NOVEMBER 2018 SchoolArts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8. 38 NOVEMBER 2018 SchoolArts Motivation and Engagement Despite constant reassurance and extra motivation, students may lose interest and rush to the end of a project. As an art teacher, you can only do your best to keep students interested, but sometimes they just aren't. It happens! The students filling our class - rooms do not always say the nicest things or react in the way we presume they will. We mustn't let their negativity get to us. Choose your battles wisely and let the little things roll off your back. Let your students know you understand them and care about their interests by working their lat - est obsessions into your lesson planning. This will be noticed and appreciated by even the most challenging class. Find out what interests and motivates them and use it to your advantage. Final Thoughts Once students are hooked, or at least partially interested, it's important to allow for a sense of independence and accomplishment within the project. Art class allows mul- tiple opportunities for students to face their fears of failure. A rt is a series of failures and achievements. Don't let stu- dents' failures overshadow their achievements. In the art- room, students are able to learn and express themselves in a c reative, less-restrictive environment. We all need to relish in this freedom and understand that students face changes and challenges each school year just like we do. By chang - ing our perspective in the artroom, we must use our own creative process to fulfill our duty to teach and grow. Kristen Colquhoun is an art teacher at Reading Intermediate High School in Reading, Pennsylvania. kristencolquhoun@ Experience the spectacular scener f New Mexico and learn about the rich histor nd artistic vitalit f the Native Ameri- can, Anglo, and Hispanic cultures that settled the region. Tres Culturas is designed to offer travelers an opportunit o explore the diversit f New Mexico's artistic heritage, from ancient times to the present. Some of the activitie ou'll enjo clude visits to renowned museums in Santa Fe and Taos, tours of historical sites, visits to the Taos Pueblo, Geor - gia O'Keeffe's home and museum, Pojoaque Cultural Center, and Roxanne Swentzell's Tower Galler . Firsthand experiences with Native American artists and scholars and contemporar anta Fe artists and artisans make this a unique, educational, and remarkable trip. Join SchoolArts magazine editor Nanc alkup and CRIZMAC president Stevie Mack for this unique trip, which offer ou a rare opportunit to explore the Tres Culturas of New Mexico. For more details, contact or steviemack@crizmac. com. Top: Our 2018 group at the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico, made famous by Georgia O'Keeffe and Ansel Adams. Bottom: Another view of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Rancho de Taos, New Mexico. Tres Culturas: Exploring the Artistic Spirit of Santa Fe & Taos

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