Saturday, March 31, 2012

High School Practicum: Day 1 (2.25 hours)

March 2nd was my first day with Mr. R at the High School. I had a great day learning about the classroom and the classes that I would be observing on Friday afternoons. Mr. R allowed me to introduce myself to the students and let them know who I was, why I was there, and what I hoped to gain from my pre-teaching experience. It was very exciting when he let the students know what he expected of me as well as what he expected of his students. I was excited when he asked the students questions about how teachers actually teach. He asked "So what do we do as teachers?" many answers consisted of "Teach us" or "Show us how to do something". He furthered this discussion by asking "How do teachers teach?" He then made sure that the students knew that I was going to be asking them questions, getting involved with them individually and trying to teach them by being actively involved in the classroom. The students seemed a little stand-offish at first, but I think I was able to connect with a few of them!

I learned that the Introduction to 3D class was one of his largest classes with the most diverse group of students. Each table in the classroom had a different clique of friends. These cliques were very different, and often had a lot of attitude towards the other groups. Mr. R noted that this group of students is very hard to reach sometimes, and has a lot of students at different levels of enthusiasm and artistic talent.
The 3D class was finishing a casting project. Most students were sanding and buffing their silver rings, while others were still creating wax molds or attaching wax sprues. I enjoyed walking around the class, attempting to learn a few names and faces, and to understand the project requirements.

The last class of the day was Introduction to 2D, which is held in another room of the school. Mr. R is lucky enough to have two art classrooms available to him. One room is for two dimensional artwork while the other is for three dimensional artwork. The 2D classroom was very well behaved and seemed to respond to my introduction quite well. I also spent the class time walking around meeting the students and letting them know a little about myself. I hope to teach a lesson plan during the self portrait project for this class!

I spoke a lot with Mr. R about how he runs his classroom and what he expects of his students. Although Mr. R is very laid back, he seems to hold all of his students extremely accountable for their actions and for their work. He hands out all rubrics at one time during the first week of the semester. This way, they know which projects are coming up and can always refer to the rubrics in order to get the best grade possible. They know upfront when the project is due, as well as  all of the requirements for that project.

Mr R. utilizes a lot of sketchbook assignments, which I really enjoyed. It was interesting to see all of the students working in their sketchbooks and making their idealized projects come to life in a larger format!

The first day went pretty well, I am extremely excited to continue my experience!

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