Today was a much better day than yesterday. Today my cooperating teacher returned to school to organize things and create new assignments for the classes that were finishing their work. Because she had left so suddenly on Tuesday, plans were made on the fly and I was expected to take over instantly. This day allowed us to meet up and plan the next week. We were able to figure out what will be going on and when my teacher will be absent again. Because my cooperating teacher was in attendance, this day went so much more smoothly than the previous ones. This is also because I was no longer the primary teacher and didn’t have as many responsibilities.
Today, the Art I students began to draw their original designs on their erasers, carve the designs out, and even began printing their designs to create the printed patterns. I was surprised to see the quality that the students were creating. Many students had carved designs that stemmed from the corner of the eraser so when the eraser was printed in an Alteration style, the corners would connect to create a larger image. Many students were creating beautiful, intricate designs, some with very fine details. When my cooperating teacher first told me about this assignment, I thought it was of low-quality, but after seeing the designs the students are making and the enthusiasm they have for the project, I have changed my perception. Now I feel that this project could be a quick introduction to the printmaking medium.
While the Art I students were working on their printmaking and my cooperating teacher was walking about the room guiding students that required assistance, I decided to organize my teacher’s collection of linoleum cutter resources. She had a large Ziploc bag full of blades, linoleum cutter handles, and other small pieces. The bag was a mess and my teacher was having trouble finding anything. Students were having to share linoleum cutters because there weren’t enough assembled for each student. I got to work and organized all of the blades to fit into boxes with the blades’ assigned numbers pasted on the box. I then placed all of the small blade boxes into one larger box so that they were all in one place. I then assembled all of the linoleum cutters that I could from the assorted pieces in the bag. We were able to assemble several more cutters and students no longer needed to share. My cooperating teacher thanked me for organizing and explained that without organization everything is a mess, yet she never has the time to clean things. It looks like I may need to spend time before or after school to organize things when I’m a teacher. I can’t live without organization, and I don’t know how my teacher does it.
Although today was much more relaxed than the beginning of this week, there was one issue. Because my cooperating teacher and I were trying to plan the upcoming lesson plans for the classes, my cooperating teacher began asking me for ideas. I realized however that she wasn’t look for starter ideas, however, she was looking for full-blown lesson plans. She knows that I am supposed to lesson plan for the class as part of my Student Teaching requirement, but I’m not sure if she realizes that I don’t lesson plan on the fly if I don’t have to. I need time to go home, sit at my desk, and think about what I would like to plan for the students. She would ask me “What should we do for Painting IV? How about you think of something right now?” then she’d check in with me a few minutes later, “All right, so what are we going to do for Painting IV?” I felt rushed and uncomfortable as I scrambled for ideas. “Just think of something you did in school. Let’s do something you’ve done before she said,” but I struggled to think of what I’ve done that would be appropriate for the Painting IV class. We never did settle on a lesson plan and I was surprised that during 4th Period she asked the class, herself. “So, class, what should our next lesson be?”
“You’re asking US what the next lesson should be?” questioned one of the students. After several minutes of brainstorming, the class still hadn’t come up with anything. Finally, I suggested an idea, it was agreed upon, and the students began working on it that day. I really don’t like the way that my cooperating teacher lesson plans and grades. I have found that I want much more stability. I want to have a long-term plan, I want to have specific learning objectives for my students, and I want straight-forward rubrics. Being the person that I am, I am not comfortable without a strong plan.
I was thankful to have my cooperating teacher back today because of it allowed us to slow down and plan. I was grateful for the break, as well, since I didn’t have to be the primary teacher today. Tomorrow, however, she will be out again and I will need to step in again. I am much more prepared now, though, as I am expecting it and we have a set plan. Oh, I’m so glad it’s Friday, too. Surprisingly, this week has passed quickly, but it’s also run me ragged.