Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Something Kinda' TAB-ish... part deux.

Love our local Art Museum!
Well, that's embarrassing!  My last blog post was from January of 2016?!  Whoopsies!  I have been wanting to follow up on how my teaching practice has changed over the last year and a half since I learned about TAB or Choice-Based (Or my favorite... the Choice-Based Continuum).  I just didn't realize it has been that LONG! 

I have spent the last year and a half transitioning just a FEW of my classes (one at a time) over to this new model (or what it looks like for me), documenting like crazy (my students tell me I use my phone more than they do... pshaaa, seriously??!), and working weekly one-on-one with another amazing colleague (Instructional Coach) to really zero in on best practice (for me and MY students).  Last year, I spoke with this amazing colleague at NAEA NYC sharing my journey from documenting to writing a grant to creating an interactive gallery to sharing our creative process beyond our classroom and back to best practices in teaching art (again, in my own work) and how that has impacted and grown my students' thinking and creating.  

NAEA NYC 2017- Can you find me?
In the next series of posts, I will be posting the presentation from NAEA that documents our journey, as well as the outcomes that I have been finding as it relates to best practice, student learning and thinking, evaluation responses, and response from the community.  Keep on a look out for these next few posts (which I promise will be soon... not a year from now).  

After that point, I will be shifting posts from "projects" (will my blog name be no longer valid?!) to overarching ideas and how students internalized and created artwork in this new forum.  

Please note:  I am NOT against "projects." (Even though you will notice in future posts how I am working to get away from saying, "In this next project you will..." and shifting to "What artwork you will be making from... ?")  In fact, I know some incredibly talented and inspiring teachers who teach highly structured, highly successful, instruction led projects that build major confidence and have beautiful outcomes.  I was definitely one of those teachers, and sometimes I struggle with wanting to do those again (and as you will see, sometimes I toss quick projects in so that my kids do build major confidence quickly).  I still feel very strongly that you have to teach to your demographic and the needs of those students.  I used to teach in the city, where I had classrooms of 43 kids who needed major structure (and with that many kids I also needed a lot of structure).  Now I teach in the burbs and in a school where kids are highly motivated for the most part, and on average I teach 24 in a room (36 in summer school).  (Don't get me wrong- at one point I taught 4 levels of ceramics in 1 room, and a completely different sculpture curriculum of 10 kids in the adjoining room, all at the same time, so... choose your vices, I suppose).  

So for me, currently, I work hard to figure out the best curriculum path for MY students and their needs.  I continue to go back and forth and constantly reflect on what works, what doesn't, and what could I do better at (all while balancing the work/life/family thang).  What I say is not the end-all-be-all, nor do I believe that there is no merit in other methodologies.  

Thanks for reading!