SchoolArts Magazine

SUM 2016

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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I have taught art in a classroom setting for more than twenty-five years now, and I teach it every summer as well. After a year in the classroom, you might think teaching would be the last thing I'd want to do in the summer, but when I do, it's under very different circum- stances: There's no curriculum, no administrator to answer to, no tests to administer, no lesson plans to submit for approval, and a class of only ten eager students. Time to Try Summer is my time to do artwork I have wanted to try without con- straints and stresses. I try challenging lessons and lessons just for the fun of it. Sometimes I take lessons that I've done for years and give them a fresh twist. It's when I learned to make concrete stuffed animals, use glue batik, create paint poppers, and paint with a three-foot brush. Art Camp for All For my art camp, I only teach les- sons that I think will be fun. I hire a helper, usually a high-school student who has had AP art and is thinking of pursuing an art-related career. Two sets of hands are better than one. By teaching a class of students ages seven to sixteen, I have learned to differentiate my instruction, to do the same lesson in different ways for all levels, and to have kids col - laborate. If you think having seven- year-olds in the same class with older kids is crazy, consider the fact that you probably already do this when special needs students are mainstreamed into your own room. On more than one occasion, those seven-year-olds have outperformed my high-school kids! It feels like an art colony of creativity and we all end the day with smiles on our faces and projects in our hands. If you're thinking about organiz- ing your own summer art camp or workshop, be sure to advertise that you are a certified art teacher who has passed a rigorous background check; that will set you apart from the other crafters around you. Experience and Share It is also very important to have time off. I only teach art camp for four or five weeks, then the rest of the summer is for travel or quality time with my spouse, but these art experiences in the summer get me excited to start a new year with new ideas and enthusiasm. I take lots of pictures, I post my summer projects on my blog to share with the world, and some I even publish. This is also an important component of what I do: writing and sharing. Eric Gibbons is an art teacher and author who lives in Bordentown, New Jersey. LOVSART@ W E B L I N K S Eric Gibbons Afte ear in the classroom, ou might think teaching would be the last thing I'd want to do in the summer. Renew, Refresh, Reinvigorate P O I N T O F V I E W 8 SUMMER 2016 SchoolArts

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