I am officially done with my first year of teaching! It is kind of surreal and hasn’t quite hit me yet. It will probably hit me full force when I am chillin’ at the pool this summer 😉
This year was an amazing adventure and I learned so much about myself and my craft. I set some goals for next year and I am putting them here so that I can be held accountable. I think its important to continually improve and find new ways to excel myself and inspire others.
Inspiration at its finest:
1. Provide more core curriculum support (now that I know what it looks like)
By its very nature, my art curriculum integrates with and supports core curriculum (science, math, language arts, history). However, there are so many things I can add and emphasize that could really step it up. Now that I have seen and experienced some of the core stuff I will be able to use it and refer to it which ultimately will strengthen learning all around.
2. Spend more time at the beginning of the year cultivating an environment of community, cooperation, and respect.
I was SO excited to jump right in this year. I meticulously planned out my lessons and my physical classroom environment. What I should have spent way more time on was classroom management. The most frustrating part of being a first year teacher was my lack of classroom management. I just didn’t have the experience and knowledge basis to pull from to be able to know what to do in certain situations. Next year I am going to slow down and take the time to turn my classroom into a community. I will do this by incorporating more collaborative activities and really emphasizing the idea of respect.
None of this:
3. Be more involved.
It killed me this year that I had to say “no” to a lot of things I was asked to help out with. I am definitely a team player but I had to know my limits when it came to extracurricular activities. It was important to me that I got my bearings, found my footing, and got the hang of it. Next year I want to have a presence at more events and show some school spirit. After all, I LOVE MIMOSA!
4. Use data and rubrics.
I create rubrics for my lesson plans but I never use them. My excuse has always been “there isn’t enough time.” This is not going to fly next year; I have to show assessments in more ways not just for myself but for the administration and the students. It is absolutely astounding when kids ask “we get a grade in art?!” But who can really blame them because I have never actually shown them a grade so how would they even know. I will try out some different rubric formats; I briefly used one on a project this year where students graded themselves. That way, I can provide data and show student growth.
5. Start an art club!
Kids are always in my room — they come to visit before and after school and even during lunch. Having an art club would provide a set time with a structured activity that could enhance and reinforce classroom learning. Logistically, there are several things to work out: when is held, who gets to attend, what we do, how many kids, etc. I already have a few ideas of activities and I know that many kids would love to be a part of something like this.
Check out these awesome round tables:
It’s not that interesting of a sight but its whats in the boxes that counts! I have been jealously eyeing some of the other teacher’s magnificent round tables all year. My rectangle tables are bulky and awkward and round tables are so lovely. I asked my principal if I could please have some round tables and here they are in boxes brand new from the warehouse ready to be assembled. I have never in my life been so excited about tables I cannot wait to bust those bad boys out for next year!
I am certainly looking forward to next school year but I am also thrilled about this summer, I have filled it up with plans of awesomeness including a trip to Israel, a Bahamas cruise with my best friends, and teaching clay camp at Johns Creek Arts Center. Stay tuned for more Art with Ms. K and have a safe, happy, and creative summer! 🙂