Friday, September 7, 2007

Middle school set

I didn't blog much last week for many reasons. The main one being that my girls started school and it was an emotional week for me. But another big reason was that it was also the start of school for me too. The start of teaching art again that is. Last school year I only taught kindergarten through fourth grade. However, this year it is kindergarten through eighth. Let me just say, middle school is a whole new ball game.

I knew that working with fifth through eighth grades would be different. Different in that they could do more and would have more ability. Oh, and I figured we could get more done in the time frame given. Some things I hadn't really considered though. Such as, they aren't so eager to please me like those adorable K-4th graders. Like, oh pa-lease, some of them would soooo rather be cartooning than making a collage. And they weren't afraid to let me know that either. And how can I forget, some are way too busy trying to impress the opposite sex to really be listening to me.

I knew that working with the middle school set would be different. I just hadn't thought of all the ways that it would be. Since art is only on Fridays I have had some time to think about our first day. After having a week of reflection I am better armed to deal with this challenge. I have some tricks up my sleeve. I am determined. I can teach them new things and make them love art in the process. I'm encouraged. I'm determined. I'm confident.

Oh, and I'm a little scared.



Sarah and Jack said...

I've never taught elementary, only high school and middle school, but I actually love middle school kids.

They are still young enough to really enjoy having F-U-N at school! My best advice is 1) have good classroom management, they need rules and they need to know you will make them follow the rules 2) make it fun! and 3) let them have some control. They like to make choices, even if it is only about what music they can listen to during class.

Kristi said...

Girl, you are the most creative person I know, not to mention determined, organized, fun, and energetic. You will be the best art teacher those kids have ever seen. I know you will do a great job! And hey, tap in to the opposite sex thing and pair them up for projects together, that way they are working and will want to take their time doing it right so they can spend more time with the other one! Maybe! Just a thought!
Good Luck!!!!!

jenifer74 said...

hi dana! another k-8 art teacher here checking in with from your comment on my blog -- i've been teaching 6 years now. i too love the middle school - but yes, completely different ball game with them than the little ones. you should email me; i'll tell ya my philosophy on getting the "in" with them (some of the time! ha!) but would love to swap some tips & tricks!! i'm at sproutstudio AT

Christy said...

You'll be great! Just don't let them now you're scared. :)

I'm sure you'll figure it out and be a great success. Those kids need to realize how lucky they are to have someone like you teaching them about something as special as art. I hope they'll learn that it's a wonderful way of expressing themselves.

Good luck! xoxo

capello said...

hey, that's what F's are for :-)

Blue Yonder said...

Oh gosh, do I ever know what you mean. I teach Sunday school girls. I get them as they are leaving 4th grade, and have them until they are entering the 7th. They go through a MAJOR metamorphasis during that time. They are little kids, eager and pliant when I get them. They are teenagers and still fun, but also cool, and sassy too. One thing to bear in mind though... I find as they get older, their comments, insights and even feedback and friendships become so much fuller and richer. It's fun to watch them bloom. Have a blast!

traci said...

Im cracking up at the blogger who said that you just give them F'
I teach elementary and love every single minute of it. I think middle school is HARD!!!! They are ALL ABOUT hormones, impressing opposite sex, being COOL, and less worried about the teacher liking them. Good luck and keep sharing about it.