Student Teaching at Massabesic High School
For my last student teaching placement, I spent 7 weeks at Massabesic High School. This school was completely hybridized between remote and in-person learners. Each class we taught to a classroom full of students at the same time we taught to a smaller group of students on Zoom. I taught three blocks of Ceramics A and two blocks of Sculpture A. In Sculpture, we explored historical and modern contexts for the different forms of sculptural work and tried out many different materials and techniques. In Ceramics, we explored primarily modern ceramic artists and dived into the possibilities of clay work.
Adventures in Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art
Adventures in Art was a series of two lessons taught to two different groups. It was comprised of a pre-lesson to introduce big concepts to the students and a second lesson to partake in an art project. It was incredible to work on the same lesson with two different age groups, of 5th graders and 8th graders and see the difference in engagement and comprehension. Once we had an understanding of differences of the groups we were able to tailor our lessons more specifically. We tried to incorporate more ways to share for the younger kids as engagement was primarily through social interactions for that particular group. The older kids wanted more time to create and think, with a lesser need to verbally engage, so we changed our lesson accordingly. I'm so pleased with how this lesson came out and how engaged the students were. They were able to digest big abstract ideas and then show what they learned through collage.
Virtual Art Fair 1+2 - Open to the Public
The MAT 2021 Cohort put on two Virtual Fairs, open to the public,. I taught three groups, ranging from ages 7-13, with my largest group having twelve participants. I created a lesson on Paper Flowers, using collage and paper folding techniques to create a three dimensional wall hanging. This activity was one of my first opportunities teaching completely remotely to a group of children I had never met. We covered group technology guidelines, a brief history of paper flowers, a glimpse into my own artistic practice, and worked alongside one another in a step-by-step demonstration of each child's paper flower.
Fieldwork at Waynflete Academy
At Waynflete we spent four afternoons teaching a small group of 5th graders 1 hour art lessons. This was our first experience working with kiddos in person as well as our first experience co-teaching in a group of three. These lessons took place outdoors which came with its own challenges of dealing with the wind and wetness, as well as the impact it had on the student's energy levels. We got to know the kids and account for their learning differences in special ways. We could account for the quiet kids by drawing them out of their shell with targeted questions. We got to know who worked well together and who didn't, as well as the group's natural affinity for teamwork, which led the direction of our lessons to incorporate groupings and collaborative art projects. We tried to make our lessons accessible and fun to the different personalities within the group. I even used their feedback to alter my lessons, including games akin to musical chairs and a relay race to movement, since they had trouble sitting still and focused for the whole hour. I utilized games, handouts, small groups and a variety of other instructional strategies to make this short time with these kids meaningful, educational and fun.
Student Teaching at Reiche Elementary
For my first student teaching placement, I spent 6 weeks teaching at Reiche Elementary. This school was split into two Cohorts, each that came 2 days a week, and were remote the other three. I taught primarily in-person, while each week planning a asynchronous remote activity. Due to Covid restrictions, I was only able to teach the 2nd and 5th Grade. In the Fifth Grade classes we accomplished two units, one on Pinch Pot People and one on Pastel Self Portraits. In Second Grade, we covered two units as well, an extensive one on full-figure mixed media self portraits, and one on sculpted castles using paper.
Community Project at Space Gallery
These past few months have pulled back the veil on my potential for leadership. In my previous experience, I often ended up in leadership roles without intending to, not quite knowing why or how I got there. This program has shown me how much I love organizing projects, advocating for my ideas and my ability to collaborate. The project where this became obvious was with the Space project. Though I was hesitant at first, I realized that this was something I was passionate about. Organizing emails, delegating tasks and scheduling comes naturally to me and I was able to take advantage of this. We collaborated between the MAT Cohort, Space Gallery, and the Portland Housing Authority to created a mailed art kit for students across Portland. The kit itself had elements of collaboration between the students and their families as well as the USPS. Though we have no idea of the outcome as of yet, knowing these kits have reached the students after so much effort is heartwarming.
Continuing Studies Workshop at Maine College of Art
The video I created for the Continuing Studies Department at MECA was a great opportunity to create a full asynchronous lesson. I created the kit and the description, as well as a 30 minute video for the students to follow along with as they paint. I was able to share my personal artistic practice of intricate watercolor/collage paintings in a way that showed my passion and made it accessible. I took the opportunity to teach not only the actual workshop but also how to set up a space for painting and 8 different techniques used in watercolor. I was able to really work through every step of the process and foresee the various questions that would come up.
Fieldwork at South Portland Parks and Rec
During my short experience with South Portland Parks & Rec kindergarteners, we faced new challenges. I co-taught three lessons with three other MAT Candidates. The age range was very different from the fifth graders I had previously worked with, and they needed a much longer list of short tasks to accomplish in order to stay engaged. For such a large space, we tried to utilize in a constructive way. But by breaking up the groups we could monitor and keep the kids controlled (best we could) and safe, even though we barely knew the kids and their behavioral patterns. The small groups also allowed for more close interactions between students as well as with the teachers. The kids were inspired by each other's work and explored the techniques their classmates discovered. Creating a rotation between tables allowed the kids to stay focused on the task as well as motivate them to fully explore the project with the time they had. Lastly, we tried to use the big space at the front of the classroom for overall instruction, introducing projects and concepts, as well as an area to play and get their energy out when they needed a break or after the project which aided with cleanup.