Art 1 students are just beginning to look at and work in portraiture. There is nothing harder to a high school student, then looking at and drawing themselves. To make this a little easier we abstracted our images slightly, so the students would not be so intimidated about getting everything perfect.
Well today is the day! The end of the first quarter. I have a few students scrambling to turn in assignments and extra credit in some cases. Overall we have had a very busy first nine weeks. The students have been very busy and very successful. I am very excited about working in Graphic Design with my photography students this nine weeks.
When I graduated from high school, I first thought that I wanted to be in Graphic Design and for a year and a half I was in an extensive program at Southern Illinois University. In December of my sophomore year, I realized I just wasn't happy. I was spending so much time in my room or at the studio working that I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I realized that if I continued in graphic design...that would be my life. And if you know me, that isn't me at all. I decided I needed to work with people and becoming a teacher seemed to fit.
I love the opportunity to work with these wonderful, funny, and very enthusiastic students who bring so much energy and life to the classroom. I think it is wonderful that they are willing to try anything and I am excited to see who will just fit into Graphic Design.
I am sure that a lot of students, parents, and community members wonder what the area teachers do on Regional Institute Day...let me tell you...a lot. This day is set aside by our Regional Office of Education for area teachers to take courses on new curriculum or materials in education, to learn more about dealing with students who may have certain needs that are to be met, or to sometimes gain extra or specific knowledge in our field of teaching. I am never really sure where to go on institute day, but I always end up attending the workshops at Eastern Illinois University. They are interesting classes in which we have the chance to round table with other educators in the art field, tour the Tarble Art Center's current show, and then take a class in which we complete a lesson that relates to the show.
This year however, I tried a new class and loved it! I attended a class presented by area art teachers. Two of these teachers, I have always admired. Jamie Willis is a wonderful art teacher in the Mattoon School District who has a vast knowledge in fiber art. Pat Mahler, who is retired teacher from the Charleston district also taught this class, is an Illinois Artist in Residency. She too, is an amazing fiber artist. Together, they taught a class on bookmaking. They were a fount of information to me. I learned so much about bookmaking and soft sculpture. It has made me quite excited about finding ways to put this in my art curriculum. In the spring I am going to put these into place in our hand arts and sculpture classes.
The thing I love about teaching is that I in turn never stop learning. There are so many ways that I can improve what I teach and these workshops help me succeed in that. So thank you Pat and Jamie and thank you Regional Office of Education for the experience!