Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Tales Out of School

Tonight I spent the evening at Starbuck's with my good friend Allison, shooting the breeze over chai latte and some freaky green grass looking blended things she was drinking. It was good just to hang out and catch up. We are both so busy that we said way back in March, just prior to my birthday that we should have a coffee date. It took us FIVE months to get around to it! Crazy, I know.

Anyway, Allison is a middle school teacher and this year her school is focussing on fine arts. She has contracted me to come and teach her kids some mixed media/altered art. I am excited about it because I know the kids will be enthusiastic about it. We are going to do altered mirrors so the kinds can have something very funky and handmade to give as an Xmas gift. We have also talked about an ATC class and a journal making class. I will be teaching her kids and one other class (not at the same time though-two seperate classes) and she said it's highly likely the other two classes will see what we are doing and want to contract me too.

So...there's that planned for the late fall and then the other classes in the New Year. When I think aobut some of the incredibly BORING art classes I had as I kid, it makes me wish they had brought guest instructors in. I remember when I was in elementary school, the grade 6 teacher was Mr. Hanna. He was the coolest teacher in the whole school and kids could not wait to get into his class. (We only had one teacher per grade back then and none of this split class nonesense.) Mr. Hanna was an art genius and so we knew we would get lots of time down in the artroom doing cool stuff. I remember we made clay masks and got to paint and fire them. My Gram still has mine hanging on her wall in her bedroom if you can believe it.

Mr. Hanna also had a cool merit system whereby he would give us merits, in the form on paper "money" for things we did-homework in on time? 5 merits. Pass a test with an A? 10 Merits! Late for class? Pay back 10 merits! This went on the whole year like big time commerce-kids would wheel and deal this merits too. Need a pencil? It will cost ya-5 merits please! At the end of the year, Mr. Hanna would buy all kinds of wild stuff like walkmans, tubs of bubble gum and the like and have a year-end auction where he would sell the prizes for merits. It worked like a charm-we were the best behaved class all year and at the end, we all had something to show for it, besides good grades. God bless you Mr, Hanna wherever you are-you made art fun and exciting and grade 6 was one of the best school years ever!

I was lucky over my school career-I had alot of really great teachers I loved.

1 comment:

Lostechild said...

Have you ever tried scratching the back of a mirror to get some of the silver off? You can draw something on it or write on it, in reverse. Then you can paint the scratched off surfaces with black paint. It's totally cool!