Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New skills I can add to my resume...

I've picked up some new skills that I'm hoping are resume-worthy . . . it may be a long shot. Essentially, the position of art docent [definition: a volunteer worker who acts as a guide in a museum or art gallery, but in this case, a volunteer parent who tries to minimize chaos and maximize damage control during art lessons] for 'Shroom's second grade class somehow unintentionally became filled by me. It is through my position as docent that I've picked up a few teaching tools to add to my tool belt.

This first art project was a tribute to Jackson Pollock's method of abstract art. In layman terms, it is essentially "active" art on which paint gets glopped, splattered, dripped, flung, and everything else you wouldn't ever dare do with a classroom of young--and extremely excitable-- students.

I was taught this method as a docent so that I would be prepared to teach 'Shroom's class. While seated at tables, the adult docents were instructed to fill the white canvas board with three different colors. We then took our boards (and lots of newspapers) to the floor and proceed to "Pollock-ize" the canvas. Bye-bye brushes and hello plastic spoons, forks, and knives.

I was a helper for Lolli's class when her first grade class did their paintings. The docent for her class had the students do their entire painting seated at tables. Even though this minimized the clean up afterward, the results didn't seem as dynamic and variegated as the paintings done on the floor. The paint didn't get a chance to "drop" onto the canvas. The table height was mid-chest level on some of the first graders! Luckily I had the experience of helping out in Lolli's classroom before I had to teach it to 'Shroom's class.

Placing the canvas on the floor definitely added a depth and coolness but it made a huge mess. Was it worth it? I think looking at 'Shroom's painting, it was well worth it.

Can you pick out which painting was painted by whom?

Oh, and on my teaching resume, I'll have to add under the core competencies section:

instructional best-practices--("Okay class. Today we're going to throw paint onto canvas boards. Let's get started!")

experiential learning--("Jose, I think you're waaay done with your painting because the paint is about two inches thick. No, I don't care if you say you're not done. I say you're done."), and

classroom management--("Everyone freeze where you are right now! Some of you have paint on the bottom of your shoes and you're trekking it all over the room. I said STOP! NOW!!")

[P.S. The painters of each of the paintings above are me, Lolli and 'Shroom, in that order]