Sunday, April 24, 2016

Art Inspires Fashion

I have a fascination with postcards. Not just any postcards, they must be Art Postcards. The ones that you can purchase at an Art Museum. The ones that are photographs of the art at that museum or on loan to that museum. I have been collecting postcards for YEARS! However, I have finally, during the last few years, figured out how to use them with my students in art.

In Art Centers for Extended Learning-students choose an art postcard, then using a work sheet, they answer questions and draw a small copy of the art. This activity helps students to make connections to different artists and their styles.

In Curating with Postcards-students explore different art careers and the responsibilities of a curator in an art museum as they use postcards to create their own exhibit. AND apparently because I shared this activity last summer at a Summer Institute at Penn State-I'm gonna be quoted in a textbook!!
In Happy Trees-I reference the book If Picasso Had a Christmas Tree, where students matched Art Postcards to the art in the book. This was a great activity for students to learn to recognize the style of different artists.

Soooo last summer on a trip to New York City, while in The Costume Institute at The Met, I came across this beautiful gown. It was part of an exhibit titled China: Through the Looking Glass.
It made me think of this: The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai.

Which eventually made me remember this: by Cassie Stephens  click on her name to read her blog and be prepared to be blown away by her talent and dedication to the field of art.
AND a new lesson was Born? Discovered? Created? After messaging Cassie Stephens, who by the way is the art teacher's ROCK STAR of art teachers, I put together a few slides showing off the incredible fashions she creates to inspire her students as they learn from her about different artists.
featured in Nashville Arts Magazine, Nov 2014

There were so many different directions to go in with this lesson. However, I love incorporating our school mascot into our art when ever I can. Soooooooo after sharing several photos of Cassie and her wonderful fashions I showed students some postcards and directed them as to what they would be doing. They could cover the whole shape of the lion or put the lion in a body suit. I did this with 2nd and 3rd grades. Would be a good lesson to leave for a sub.
My samples-
I thought they should do some planning first and use the sheet with the four lions traced out.  I insisted 3 out of the 4 needed to be art inspired from the postcards and one could be their own art.

On the back they should take notes as to the title and artist's name. And when they decided which one they liked the best they could do an enlarged version. It's a fun activity and introduces students to different kinds of art and how art inspires more art!

Now I vaguely remember taking more photos. Ones with students working on this and of more finished art. I'm sorry, no clue what happened to them.

Moving along........ I feel terrible that my blogging has slowed down. I'm still on medical leave, the surgery was a SUCCESS and I will eventually mend AND NOT want to sleep ALL day because I left the house the day before for a few hours. It is what it is.

My original goal was to blog 3 times a week.
My realistic goal was to blog ONCE a week.
My medical leave goal is to blog when I'm not sleeping, and can think clearly for more then 30 minutes at a time. Hopefully things will get back to normal in time for summer vacation................

Thanks for reading!!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Interviewing My Replacement

Hello! Hello!! Hello!!! Hello!!!!
Can't even begin to tell all of you how much I missed writing my blog! My back surgery went well. According to people, like the doctor, my husband and anyone who has had back surgery, this was pretty serious stuff. I chose to be in the land of denial about the whole thing and now I am on the slow road to recovery.

One aspect I couldn't deny is that I would be out for 12 weeks from the date of the surgery or until the last 4 days of school.  My mantra: It could have been worst.....

 These would be before pictures.

Anyway since it's not productive to whine (according to my husband), I thought I would blog about the interview process to fill the mini contract made by my absence.  And since I seriously have no idea about using photos to tell that story, I thought I would show photos of my art room and how it has evolved in the 10 years I've been there.

 These are some after pictures.

According to my principal there were 7 candidates to interview. And it was okay with him for me to sit in on them. Of the 7,  I was only available to be there for 3.  He even let me come up with some of the questions. And truthfully after sitting in on those interviews with him, I felt confident that missing the other 4 would not be a problem as we appeared to "both be on the same page."

Here is a list of my questions:

1-What influenced your decision to become an art teacher?

2-Tell me about a lesson you did with students that was not successful ? Were you able to tweak (adjust) it so it worked?

3-Which is more important to you process or product? Why?

4-Talk me through one of your lessons. Students are lined up outside your door. Now what happens?

5-Do you have experience as a substitute teacher?

6-If given the opportunity to do the mini contract would you want lesson plans to follow or do you have your own that you are looking forward to doing?

7-Do you consider yourself to be organized? Please give me some examples.

These are pictures of my centers before the renovation.

Now some questions my principal didn't use, I think that was based on the answers for questions that were already answered.  Having interviewed many, many times in my life, it was very interesting to me to be on the other side. Okay, I wrote the questions, there are NO right or wrong answers. Bottom line is that I want my questions answered like I would answer them. So what that means is- the person needs to be a good fit. To be a good fit is to have similar values. Certain questions will determine if the candidate is a good choice or not. Also, since this was for a mini contract, the interview was short.

My temporary art room during renovation.

The wrong answer, to me, for question #1 was "I couldn't get a graphic arts position so I thought I'd teach."  Being an art teacher shouldn't be a consolation prize, it should be a passion.

Question #2-tells me that the candidate is flexible and able to be in the moment and make it work.

#3- I got asked this question and was curious how others might answer it. My answer to this one is it needs to be both, as children need to learn the process to do a product.

Questions 4, 5, and 6 lets me know if they would be able to jump right in and start teaching.

 And #7, because I really hope the art room won't be a disaster when I return.

My new art room. 

Everyone interviews at some point in their career. How you answer in an interview needs to be about you, and what is important to you. Also how well you know your subject area and how up to date you are on the standards. Your answer needs to fit into the environment where you are interviewing. So if it's not a good fit, that's not on you-it's just what it is. AND be confident a good fit is right around the corner. And if you don't get the job, there is nothing wrong in politely asking why.

Here I am with my wonderful replacement: Maureen Breed.

What experiences have you had when you needed to be out for a while?

Thanks for reading!!!!