I have been teaching art in the public schools for about 8 years now. I’ve lost track of how many schools I’ve been to and I can only remember of sea of faces. Each time I start at a new school in a new classroom it is brand new. Every situation is different, I’m always sort of lost, wandering around a campus with a list of classrooms and teachers’ names. I try really hard to get there at just the right time, not too early and not too late. If it is one thing I have learned in the the public schools every minute is accounted for. School might start at 7:56 or end at 2:24. I try to not disrupt the current activity when I walk in a room. I have a bag of tricks with me and as I walk in I am scanning the room to see if there is a whiteboard or an easel with paper, or anywhere where I can write things. Sometimes the entire classroom is completely filled with stuff. There is zero space to write. Many schools use document readers these days and I like them if circumstances are right. There seems to usually be a lighting issue, or a distance issue or things are sideways, each classroom is set up differently and I have to instantly adjust. I can go to 5 different classrooms in the same day and have to figure out how things are set up in each room. My favorite rooms have some empty whiteboard, an easel with some chart paper and a document reader. My least favorite rooms are completely filled and they feel really cluttered almost claustrophobic with so many pieces of chart paper all written on and projects dangling from the ceiling and even the windows full. I feel kind of sorry for the kids cooped up in a room like that all day, mass confusion.
My mission is to open a window on art for kids and teachers, to give them a chance to try it out. Usually materials are limited so I try to use real basic things that most schools have such as crayons. Did you know that crayons can look almost like paint if they are used thick and the colors are mixed? Below are some videos showing student artwork.
Here are some more videos of student work.