Week 7: Hopkins and Susan

Hopkins High School, Randi Rood- 4 hours, Susan Armington- 12 hours

This was my last week at Hopkins, it was sad, but I was really glad i was able to be there for these students and offer further guidance into the art world. I was able to discuss and offer my view on art after high school and everyone seemed rather engaged with that. I will miss them. Randi was a wonderful mentor and I hope to keep in touch with her as we both move forward.

I also worked with Susan Armington this past weekend which was so amazing! We were working on the river box project where you take a box, a folded piece of paper, and everyone who participated was able to create their own river. Some stayed very realistic with forest animals, and others created these surreal worlds with monsters, fairies, or cartoon characters. There were a few experiences that really stood out to me. One experience was when two families came in to participate and both were so impressed and into the project, they stayed to work for over an hour. They were so focused the room was almost silent. Another moment that meant a lot for me was when there was a spanish speaking family that understood some english but primarily spoke spanish came in and was working on their boxes, and I felt really proud when I was able to communicate with them and help them along with their projects. It was a one of those one on one connection moments that make a child feel more welcome and comfortable in an environment filled with a lot of english speakers. To have someone who can understand, makes the experience all that more fun and exciting. I LOVED working with Susan. She is an amazing artist and teacher. I am hopeful to keep in touch with her as well as I would love to work with her again. 

Week 6: Hopkins

Hopkins High School- Randi Rood, 4 hours

I am almost done with my residency at Hopkins. I am sad but I am leaving with an impact. But, back to this past week! The day started out with sketchbooks and a talk with the AP students about their portfolios. They just finished writing their thesis and are almost ready to submit. Randi felt pretty strongly that these pieces were not up to par with her past students and she let them know. I wondered if this was harsh but the students were responsive.  

Second block, however, was a lovely time. The kids are pretty open with me and I feel confident when we speak to each other and discuss their projects. They are a quiet group but very talented and they seem to have fun. I feel lucky to be able to connect with this particular group. They are not afraid to ask questions and are much more inquisitive about art. Which is very refreshing!

Week 5: Hopkins

Hopkins High School- Randi Rood- 4 hrs. 

This week I was finally be able to get back to Hopkins! It was the start of a new quarter, meaning that it was a new start for A.P. students and new classroom settings for drawing/painting 1 and 2. The first class was the drawing 2 section and they were very quiet and very confident with their works. They were a little shy but I was able to slowly open a few up to discuss works. The A.P. students were doing a collaborative abstraction project. Randi gave the students a word for a day and they were able to add to and paint over each others paintings after a period of time. Finally was the drawing 1 class. (maybe pick and choose what to add.) They were sadly a bit concerned about their abilities in class. Many saying "I can't do this," "I don't draw," or "this is just for credit." I hope to help them become more confident; many of them were actually very creative thinkers and understood exactly what needed to be done. Overall it was an interesting week. 

This semester and my vehicle.

I have not been able to get hours this past week because I have had no car available to me to attend my necessary placements. At first, we thought it was just the battery that was the issue, however, it turns out, there has been a short in my alternator. This week I will definitely be returning to Hopkins to meet the new classes as well as preparing myself for a show downtown with other MCAD artists. I will then be able to return to Hopkins the following week to share my experience of an art show! I am sure many of them have participated in their own, however, I still think it is fun to hear of others experiences. The mural project with Susan shall be starting in a few weeks and I am very excited to work with her!

Hopkins Spring Break

I was not in session this past week, because it was Hopkins Spring Break. Classes have been working students hard so i'm glad that they got a break. It has been set up on April 4th that I will be helping Susan with her mural installation. It will be quick and fun. I am excited to begin working with her more in the upcoming month as we complete her river project. I will also continue working with Randi for a few more weeks. 

Spring Break!

I was off this week due to spring break. I was able to revisit my Planning Backwards Model as well as finish one of two assessments. Honestly, I was a bit sad I wasn't able to see the students and their finished projects over at Hopkins but I know I will be able to see them all again soon. I felt like I had some really big personal break throughs this week as I reflected on my teaching experience at Hopkins from last week. I loved the project they completed and the intricacy of the project and how much thought was actually behind it is so brilliant. It really has pushed me to want to get better at teaching to have the ability to come up with amazing projects like that one. Speaking of amazing projects, I have also been in contact with Susan again and we are about to blast off into our adventure at the children's museum soon! I am very excited for this next adventure and I can't wait to see what's next in store for us there! 

Week 4: Hopkins High School

Hopkins High School, Randi Rood, 6.5 hours

What an exciting week this was! I prepared everything to teach a lesson on Abstract Expressionism for Wednesday, a lesson plan, powerpoint, etc. But it did not work out to show it wednesday because of the timing. When I went into the school that day, I was able to add a few things here and there and Randi said she would love it if I would be able to come in on Friday to present my lesson. I was so grateful that Randi wanted me in and that Lynda was able to make it on Friday to watch me! I learned a lot about myself and really how important it is to practice what I am going to say. It does make a difference. I also think I could have been a bit more assertive when children were on their phones but all around I thought I was successful and it was fun. I loved the project the children were doing, it was absolutely amazing and so well thought out. I cannot wait to see how these projects turned out!

Week 3: Hopkins High School

Hopkins High School - Randi Rood - 4 hours

This past week was a very concentrated as both classes had assignments due. It feels like things are slowing down in the A.P section of the class because the students are feeling the spring time lull as seniors and are ready to graduate. I've been thinking of different ways to inspire them to keep going until the very end. I was able to help grade which was actually kind of fun. I also went around the classroom and discussed the current pieces with each student. They just completed still life drawings regarding figure-ground relationships. Randi has also asked me to do my teaching this upcoming week on Wednesday. I am a little nervous but I believe I can pull it off. I am confident enough to push through! If not, I will be doing a lesson next quarter. 


Week 2: Hopkins High School

Hopkins High School - Randi Rood - 4 hours

This past week was quite eventful! The first block involved making rounds to both the Drawing 2 students and the A.P. students. Some students are more willing to talk to me about their work than others. In some ways it's a little discouraging knowing I'm being compared to another teaching artist, but when a student does open up, it makes me feel a bit better. The philosophies being used while addressing the A.P. student's work is also very interesting. Some students are worried that their pieces don't coordinate enough and others worry about it coordinating too much. When brought up in critiques, the issue is always addressed differently based on what others like about the particular student's concentration. It concerns me that the students get discouraged during critique that they wonder if they should be in A.P. Art.

However, I digress. Even when there isn't a formal crit, the classroom is addressed in a way that critiques are constant, which helps. Randi is very aware of student needs and works to help each student to succeed in their own way, which is something I strongly agree with. The funniest part of second block was when there was an india ink incident. Some ink was knocked off a table being used for a demo and it splashed about fifteen feet away, hitting one boot and my inner ear. It was quite funny. Except when a students white converse were now almost completely black. I felt so bad! I am excited to see what the next week brings. 

Week 1: Hopkins High School

Wednesday February 17, 2016

Hopkins High School - Randi Rood, 3.5 hours

I have finally been able to start my placement at Hopkins. The wait was definitely worth it. Randi is a delight and very forgiving. On top of not starting when I was supposed to, I was also gifted at seven in the morning with a car that would not start. I learned that the trick was not getting the car started, but more so about finding someone who will jump your vehicle at seven in the morning. I went to the school and found a friend who was willing to help me out. After about a half an hour of attempting to start my vehicle I was on my way! I emailed Randi and I was welcomed with open arms. I was able to sit in on a critique for the Advanced Placement students who are currently working on concentrations. The class is split between the A.P. students, and Drawing 2 students. Randi is extremely impressive when it comes to balancing both. She started following up with every student in Drawing 2 and moved on to the A.P. students once they got working again. I was extremely impressed with everyone's work.

During second block, there was a Drawing 1 class. They watched a video and read an article about Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was so happy when they began discussing his legacy. After the article and video, the students recreated a one of his pieces in their sketchbooks. As they were working on life drawings based in the style of Basquiat, I read another article to the class about Basquiat's work and the elderly couple who owns a lot of his work. I also helped record grading for that class. It was a fun and exciting time, I can't wait to get back next week!

Weeks of Feb 1-13

Meeting with Susan! 1.5 hours

I have still not been in session at Hopkins High School. It has been extremely difficult to join Randi because of the background checks, application process, and so on. It is a little disheartening and has me a bit down but I am sure that it will all work itself out soon! In the meantime, I have been able to meet up with the wonderful Susan Armington. I feel so lucky to be working with her. We met up for coffee and apparently, we share very similar interests when it comes to travel and hobbies, which is fun. She says that her biggest goal as a teaching artist is to have everyone walk away with a piece that is special to them. She shared one of her biggest teaching moments exampling this. I also got to see her studio. Her work is awesome, it is large and in charge. It really reflects what she is like as a person and I am so excited to be working with her! 

Weeks of Jan 19th - Jan 25th

I have not been in session now that I am back from break. Our class met to discuss the next step in our Practicum work. It has been interesting to see what everyone has been up to. I have learned my schedule for the upcoming semester and it will hopefully work out with my next placements. My placement at Hopkins with Randi Rood will hopefully be starting soon at the beginning of  February. I haven't received and verification from her on the official start date though. I am kind of nervous that I won't start on time. My placement with Susan has also been going well, we have been in contact and I will hopefully start this placement in April. 

The week of January 25th was our second week of school. It has been pretty busy so far. I am hopeful that I won't get overwhelmed too quickly in the semester. I found that I am going to hopefully enjoy my Illustrated Notebook class a lot. As far as this class goes, I am meeting with Susan next week to chat at Mojo's cafe. I am excited to meet her and get to know her before we work together in April. I have yet to hear back from Hopkins, Randi or Deb and this has me a little concerned considering I was hoping to start this upcoming week. 

Week 3 in Janesville

Monday, January 4, 2016

Craig High School - Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Cossette - 6.3 hours

Today was the big prep day before teaching! I was really excited to get to school to converse with Mrs. Barry and show her what I had planned so far. Before I came to school, I worked on my lesson plan, getting a few materials, and I made a slide show I wanted her to approve. We finalized the lesson plans and as the day went on we asked students who knew they would be gone to get a head start. There are three painting classes that I was teaching in and Mrs. Barry decided that she wanted to extend the project over the rest of the week, which allowed me to be a bit more lenient as far as time goes. Because I was just kind of a light helper in Mrs. Kane's class, she said I should take my hours with her (Mrs. Barry's prep hours) to prep and experiment with the project. I ended up cutting 77 pieces of watercolor paper for all three classes, and made around 80 view finders that were 2x2 inches. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 and Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Craig High School - Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Cossette - 13 hours (Block days)

Teaching and filming days! I was so nervous, and so excited for these days. I got to the school early on Tuesday to make sure I had all my materials for our activity and go over everything one last time before the students first hour with Mrs. Barry. She was patient and assured me that I was going to be fine, but just to be safe, I had back up plans for everything as far as: materials, time management, and technological issues. After I taught the first class, (it was a pretty small group) a huge weight lifted from my shoulders, I was able to clean, and prepare for round two at the end of Tuesday. I went to Mrs. Cossette's class and helped them through their ending of their Photoshop project. It was a good break from the first teaching experience to calm my nerves a bit. After lunch was my second go at teaching and I was a bit more nervous because I wanted to be sure the video taping worked the way I hoped. I was able to have a friend come in to help me record and make sure my camera was working, (of course it didnt.) and we had to use a small back up camera. It wasn't ideal, but we were able to get everything we needed recorded within the hour and a half. Thursday went very smoothly and everything I learned from the last two teaching experiences all came together and the class went very smoothly. It was a wonderful, wonderful experience. It made me very excited to hear the feedback of the students as they were working. Most of their projects thus far, from my understanding, have mostly been more realistic, but I thought it was a fun opportunity to add in a bit of abstractionism and some were doubtful at first but ended up creating gorgeous pieces. I was very proud of Mrs. Barry's students!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Craig High School - Mrs. Barry

Today was a full class day so there were all eight class periods throughout the day. It was our second day working on the abstraction project. Some students that were finishing before others, I offered advice as options to add to their current pieces but if they were truly feeling done with the project, they were able to work on their portrait projects that are due before their semester is over. After first hour, Mrs. Barry reminded me of how we want to display these and that we needed to cut mats for their projects. So, During the other hours of the day, I was able to cut around 80 mats individually. It was tedious but I know it will pay off when we display the final project. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Craig High School, Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Cossette

Today was my last day. Honestly, I am kind of sad about it. It was a really rewarding experience. I loved getting to meet the students and make a connection with them artistically and for some, a bit more personally. It was also the day that students were to finish their projects and put their mat on by the end of the day. Those who were finished earlier in the day were able to participate in a small group critique where they were able to discuss color, composition, line, as well as other elements of design. After they all finished, we put them in piles according to classes and graded them throughout the day. Today was also the day that Mrs. Cossette introduced a new project to her digital students and I was able to give a quick introduction to text and font and how to incorporate it into their next projects. I had a wonderful time with all of the teachers and students during this experience and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store! 

Week 2 in Janesville

Monday and Tuesday, December 21 and 22, 2015

Craig High School - Mrs. Barry, Mrs. Cosette, and Mrs. Kane - 12.6 hours

On Monday, Mrs. Barry was not feeling the best and so she called a substitute for the day. I introduced myself as a Teaching Artist, and told him what I do as a Teaching Artist. The interesting part about observing the sub, was during the first class, he didn't take attendance and didn't really maintain the class. He sat in the computer desk and read a book the whole hour.  I went through the rest of the classes as normal and observed Digital Art where I was able to help students achieve some interesting effects in Photoshop, so that was fun. When i returned to Mrs. Barry's classroom, I coached the sub on taking attendance, answering more questions for him, and basically helping him become acquainted with the classroom and procedures. 

Mrs. Barry returned on Tuesday and discussed some possibilities for me to teach the class, ultimately we decided to do a more abstract lesson. I was happy to see she was feeling better. Her students were working on their portraits and were getting close to finishing, which means a critique will be coming soon. Everyone is restless and excited for holiday break. A lot of students actually weren't present both days. I think a good one-third of all the classes were absent, interestingly enough though, the students who were present, were very much on task. We also were able to spend the day watching different movies of the students choice while they worked. 

Week 1 in Janesville

Thursday, December 17- Day 4

Craig High School - Lori Barry, Amy Cossette - 6.3 hours

Today was my first full day of all of the classes. Full class days consist of 47 minute classes with a thirty minute lunch. To be honest, this day was the most tiring to me. Eight classes a day are a lot for a teacher and even the students to handle. I was thinking if all of those classes were curricular classes and it honestly tired me out just thinking about it. Kind of crazy. We also spent our prep hours talking a bit about what to do for my lesson, Mrs. Barry wants to give me a block day and the following Thursday to introduce a project on abstraction. Mrs. Cosette wants me to teach a quick lesson on fonts and how to create your own in photoshop and illustrator. Over the weekend, I was given the task of creating a slideshow of contemporary examples of abstract artists to reference from because in high school, students don't generally get a chance to experiment with abstraction because they focus so heavily on technical art and realism. It will give us  a chance to explore how to create and use a limited color palette. It was a really fun and informative week! 

Wednesday, December 16- Day 3 (Second "Block" Day)

Craig High School - Lori Barry, Amy Cossette, Maria Kane - 6.55 hours

Today started out kind of similar to Tuesday because it was the 86 minute classes again, however, today I began in Mrs. Barry's 5th hour Drawing 1 class. This was the last class I had to introduce myself to. I was able to talk to the students more about their work and how to make their lives easier by utilizing what they had available to them. At first they all seemed reluctant to try the light box or tracing paper but it was interesting to see how they used it to divert from what they were tracing. I tried to be a bit more in tune with the students and really observe my teachers this day. I was trying to incorporate how I saw the teachers giving suggestions to the students even just kind of randomly which was interesting. My goal was to kind of offer suggestions to enhance each piece. I thought it would be good to keep the students minds turning. Computer art offered the same opportunity. I noticed Mrs. Cosette would see a students work and show different ways of getting an a effect a student was looking for to enhance their pieces which was really interesting. I kind of get to learn a bit more from the students in that class as well as the teacher which is fun for me as well. They know so much about technology I felt like Mrs. Cosette learns a lot too. After helping where I could, I went back to be with Mrs. Barry's second Drawing 1 class of the day, it went similar to the morning drawing class. Except the difference was that I ended up connecting with a student through magic. He was asking me to explain 3 point perspective and how he could be able to draw a Rubix Cube. I showed him a few tricks and he showed his, he solved a messed up cube and finished it in 32 seconds. It was insanely awesome. He also kind of explained what his favorite subjects were in class to pick a part his brain and it turns out he's really into mathematics so I showed him a lot of methodical and intense drawings that he really enjoyed. He even decided to try implementing this style into his own work which got me very excited! The day ended with another painting class that was very quiet and relaxed. They are a really intense painting class, very interested in what they were completing. It was also an event day during their study hall. The students were taken down to the gym to participate in a few school games and activities which was a lot of fun to watch. 

Tuesday, December 15- Day 2 (First "Block" Day)

Craig High School - Lori Barry, Amy Cossette, Maria Kane - 6.55 hours

Block schedules are odd, the students have four classes throughout the day that are 86 minutes each and then a 46 minute study hall at the end of the day. This was a pretty new concept for me so it was interesting. Overall in the art department, I think this is beneficial for the students to really get focused on projects. 

I started out in a painting class, I introduced myself and what I do as well as encouraged the students to ask questions about life after high school and options in the arts. I then observed and walked around the class, asking questions on everyone's projects and helped out when the students asked. Computer art started out the same but I was also able to help teach some students something new. They were starting a Photoshop project and I was able to help some students with resizing some images so they were able to incorporate smaller files to their projects. I was also able to help teach students about some filter options and combining things to create new effects. The next hour and a half was Mrs. Barry's prep so I was put to the task of fixing some rulers and laying out projects on the tables. After that I went over to Mrs. Kane's room for about an hour to see and help around her Drawing 1 class. This class was working on 1 point perspective drawings and I kind of just walking around helping students again. That was a good experience, mostly because I was able to connect with a student who usually didn't like the class. However, I was able to help him get excited about drawing! The last class was with Mrs. Barry and that was similar to 1st hour painting class. 

I also got some behind the scenes action and was able to sit in on a lunch meeting with the principal and took notes for Mrs. Barry. Which was informative as well as interesting. 

Monday, December 14 - Day 1

Craig High School- Lori Barry, Amy Cossette, Maria Kane- 3 hours

I met with my teachers around 12:30 p.m. to discuss my work schedule and who I would be best suited for working with. After discussion, it was decided that I would mainly be working with teachers Lori Barry (Painting and who the majority of my time will be spent with) and Amy Cosette (Computer Art and this is only two class periods) and just helping out as needed with Maria Kane *This is mostly during prep hours for my other two teachers as prep is extremely long for two days* I stayed in Mrs. Barry's classes until the end of the day after lunch just helping with her Drawing 1 class and a Painting class. *school ended at 3:28.*