Today started off as a pretty crummy day. I came to school with a headache and stomachache and found myself to be dizzy, fatigued, weak, and feeling warm. I was unsure if I would be able to teach today, but I stuck it out and ended up teaching the entire day. It turned out that I started feeling better as the day went on.
The Art I classes were crazy as always. Students are still trying to finish up their printmaking while some are starting clay. Today I handed out several bags of clay for the students who were ready to begin and started to help them sculpt their creatures. Each day I feel more confident that these two units shouldn’t be overlapping as my cooperating teacher requested they be. The class is too chaotic with students trying to set up printmaking stations and I found it difficult to balance between students needing more paper cut for the printmaking, and students needing clay cut. I also felt that the students starting clay hadn’t received proper instruction, yet the printmaking students needed to finish. My cooperating teacher asked that I not spend much time on instruction for the clay unit so that the students could finish their prints, but I felt that the students with clay were left in the dark. In my own classroom, I want to set flexible deadlines. If students are working, then the deadline can be extended, but if they aren’t working, then they will have to face the consequences. I think that this will help my schedule and will put responsibility on my students. If a deadline had been set for the printmaking unit, then this overlap wouldn’t be occurring.
I would also like to have alternate assignments for students who have finished early. My cooperating teacher always starts students who are finished on the next assignment, but then this causes that student to become way ahead of schedule in proportion to the rest of the class. She will then introduce the new activity to the entire class for the student ready to move on, but the students who aren’t ready yet don’t pay close enough attention, and the student moving on doesn’t receive an in-depth introduction, but a short and rushed one. I just think this entire system isn’t very effective and I want to change it in my own classroom.
Today in the Painting IV class, I received a small boost in confidence. One of our students as been out sick all week and was in attendance today. I overheard her asking the students around her some questions and it reminded me that she missed the introduction to the current lesson. I asked her if she would like to go over the PowerPoint with her to introduce her to the lesson and one of the students next to her said, “Oh yeah, you should do that. It’s actually a good PowerPoint!” That really made me feel proud as I put a lot of effort into my presentations to make sure that they are interesting, engaging, educational, and effective. I felt so happy to hear that at least one student really enjoyed the presentation and it inspired me to continue putting in so much effort. In fact, yesterday I woke at 4:00am to finish my PowerPoint for the Art I classes. I really care about quality presentation and am glad that my students are appreciating it; or at least just one student.