"Assemblage" is the 3-D version of "collage”. "Found object fragments," "discards," or "throwaways" (artist's work to look at: Schwitters, Cornell, Rauschenberg, Bearden, etc.).

These things are organized by their specific elements. The resulting groups are then arranged into compositions of art.

Extending to many cultures of people living in family, religious, work, and various other groups; We could be viewed as a complex living version of "assemblage”(Webster 1. a group of persons or things gathered or collected).

We have “found” each other by chance; either by blood, common goals, or a certain chemistry. These connections help to formulate new ideas, innovations, and even new generations. John Anderson

Monday, November 21, 2011

Impressive and Sweet in the Art Class

In the previous posting “1st and 3rd Quarter Requirements Checklist” I spoke about dealing with inquiries about student progress and grades from parents.
The parents of your students should be viewed as your most important asset. I enjoyed great support from parents for my program and for the education of their child. This did not occur automatically in every case. Over the years, I continued working to maintain a reputation for being consistent and fair in my approach.
The art teachers role as a professional, is to be prepared each day with well thought out, appropriate to each level, assignments for students. The art room needs to be organized for their safe use; and for immediate access to them and materials. The art studio should be designed to teach. A “safe haven” is a comfortable environment, with high quality music, where students can experience some freedom to be themselves. Teachers order and protect tools and supplies within a budget. They provide for individual and group needs; and they have to continually rephrase, remind, and sell short term and long term goals for their students. The art teacher provides for student work during lunch, open periods, before and after school. Students sign in for extra credit. 
Students need to listen when someone addresses the class; use class time wisely; and get along with each other. They also must do their own work in class, appropriate to their level. Small jewelry projects are mounted on a uniform black matt board w/label (provided), for grading and display in the hall. Some students sign up for elective classes during their lunch hour. They should be able to leave class for food, water, or bathroom, for five minutes. It is difficult to limit this, so those abusing their freedom could be denied.
Many parents are involved with their child’s education which is what you want. You want them to support your program, like you and know what your plans are for students; and your teaching strategy for moving them forward. Parent and teacher focus is all about what is good for students. Communication with as many people as possible can provide much comfort to everyone and give you more time to accomplish your goals.
Even with all the above expectations in place, a teacher cannot always please everyone. You will sometimes receive complaints involving your professional duties; grades; conflicts with students; and student responsibilities.
In dealing with these legitimate concerns, the teacher should alway remain professional and interested in resolving issues to everyone’s satisfaction. Obviously, this is not always possible. Sometimes teachers get defensive when our policies are challenged by unreasonable people. Good record keeping and a conviction that you know how to motivate student improvement instills their confidence in you.
Weekly photo documentation of student’s progress on visual arts projects is essential to explaining to parents their child’s position in the process. Parents compare that with your written expectations posted in the class room.
Protect yourself with as much written information as possible about your requirements given to students. Repeat, remind, and review often. Students are involved in many other classes and activities, which makes remembering everything is a challenge. I always informed students that jewelry class was the most important class they will ever take; not only is it an opportunity to learn much about yourself, but it would be embarrassing  to do poorly in jewelry class. Many people believe art class is just easy and fun. I have had many students tell me my class was very difficult and challenging for them; at that always pleased me.

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