So What Have I Learned?

Art has been an unexpected gift this year. Once I stopped moaning about having to do it, I began to see all the advantages.

I didn’t have to worry about teaching something that was being tested. This was a chance to what I love – develop an idea to fruition and encourage kids to explore and try new things.

It gave me the opportunity to learn more about art, and I discovered an amazing website that I can use over the summer to do more practical exercises – Window to Art.

My special ed kids really turned out some great art – I challenge you to be able to pick their art out of the show – the work fit in wonderfully, and the kids even sold some. Several of them have a great eye for color, and they are very free with what they do – not nearly the self-censorship the “regular” kids had,

I learned how to teach art – I still have a long way to go, but I can see the skills needed to teach this discipline. There is a fine line between “cookie-cutter” art and giving students a model to follow. Without realizing this, the perspective rooms wouldn’t have been nearly as great, as would any of the other assignments.

I learned just how critical math and art are together. Intellectually I understood the connection, but until I was knee-deep in trying to help kids with an assignment, I truly didn’t understand just how much math we were doing.

Part of me will really miss this next year. I will miss Amy who in January said she couldn’t even draw a straight line, and yesterday took home eight pieces of art for her mom. I will miss Di, whose talents are just beginning to emerge, and now I own one of his pieces – a wonderful dragon. I will miss Ivan, who didn’t want to be in art class at all, but whose leadership and art skills made him a valuable member of the class – I hope he gets to art school.

Now to just finish cleaning the art room……

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