Placement with Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk - 8 Hours
This past week I began working with Pat Undis and Kimberly Schenk, two teachers I took art classes with in high school. On Monday, my first day, I met with three different classes of students. First, I met with the AP art students who are working on their concentrations due later in the Spring. The class is mostly devoted to independent work but Mrs. Undis is there to facilitate and offer guidance. I introduced myself, talked about my practice, and answered their questions about MCAD/college while they continued working on their current projects. Many of the AP students are preparing for college and from talking with some of them, a lot of them plan on pursuing art and design in the future, which is exciting!
During second and third hour, Mrs. Undis teaches both Painting I and Painting 2 classes. They commenced working on an abstract project I also did when I took the course. The students were to use a viewfinder to find a composition within a magazine or a photo they brought and use that to create their own composition with watercolor. Mrs. Undis did a demo to show them different ways of creating texture within a painting and talked about warmth vs. cool dominance in a painting.
On Wednesday, Day 2 back in high school, I worked with Mrs. Undis's AP students again and asked them about what they wanted to work on since it is more open in terms of course material and content. We talked about doing an extended figure project over the course of 2-3 weeks for a portion of the class, and the students were in agreement. Right now, it's just a matter of working out the details, gathering materials, and finding a model.
For the remainder of the day, I worked with Mrs. Schenk's Drawing I & II students, which was also mostly observation and getting to know the students and their work. Drawing I students are working on still life value drawings and gradually moving into perspective. Drawing II students are working on color schemes with oil pastels and eyes as the subject.
I was happy to learn about the different artistic interests the students were pursuing. There are even some media and filmmaking enthusiasts in the group!
For me, I am curious to see how I can continue to engage with the students, especially the underclassmen. With the exception of the AP class, the classes are very large, nearly 40 students in each. I think individualizing my teaching and reaching out to every student is going to be a challenge in the coming weeks. In terms of technology, many things have changed since I graduated in 2012. The classrooms are equipped with microphone systems and students are allowed to have their phones out, which is very different from when I attended the school.
Overall, the first couple days was both eye opening and exciting for me. I'm eager to return and continue working with all of the students I've met thus far.