by Kory Carter
Congratulations! You survived the fall semester of 309! You may have lost some of your sanity and pulled out some of your hair, but you made it! I talked about most of these topics in my seminar, but I’m going to elaborate on them
a little more for your viewing pleasure!
1) Don’t Panic!
Student teaching has been the most fun semester of college by far! You have a CT
that is there to help you, supportive art education professors, and a network of other student teachers
who understand what you will be going through. These are the people to celebrate with when you get the troublemaker in class to get excited about a project and the same that you can swap stories with on the outrageous stuff that happened that day.
2) Test Drive that New Wardrobe!
I was so excited to get new clothes to student teach in, but there were a few mishaps that I didn’t plan on!
There is a huge difference between sitting in nice clothes as an observer and running around all day as a teacher. Make sure that your shoes are completely broken in and have support! Other things to look out for
are skirts with magically moving slips, shirts that tend to un-tuck themselves in the blink of an eye, and remember to bring an apron for those messy projects!
3) Observe a Grade School Teacher
At first I was the most hesitant with teaching the “little guys” because I had not spent much time observing them. I learned so much from watching Peggy at Metcalf teaching grade school art but I learned a lot from one of my placement’s kindergarten teachers too. She seemed to get students to listen without even raising her voice! It turned out that when I started to talk like that with the young students, they seemed to listen a lot
better as well. If you have time to watch a good grade school teacher in your free time (ha), you should go
see them work magic!
4) Observe Some Video Games
When I was teaching the junior high students, I had no idea how crucial this tip would be! I have not played a
lot of current video games, but I have seen my brother play Call of Duty during school breaks and it helped me relate to students while I taught them. The students do not expect who they consider the “teacher lady” to know that prestige determines rank or that only n00bs use a riot shield. Using gamer terminology breaks the ice with students and makes it easier for you to get them to make art!
5) Be Around Kids
This is common sense when you are an education major, but I am telling you this because it is highly
important! If you can swing it, find extra opportunities to work around kids. This summer I worked for the City
of Bloomington: Parks & Recreation as an art camp teacher. This was a great way for me to get used to dealing with a larger class size of students and planning for teaching students. Things like Boys & Girls Club, Leroy workshop, etc. are great ways as well!
6) Pinterest Is More than Fun, It's Your “Professional” Friend
This summer I had wondered if I should write all of my lesson plans before school… a much more valuable alternative is to brainstorm for projects using Pinterest. Use it as a way to get all of your brainstorming done. Half of the battle of writing a lesson plan is finding that project that gets you excited. If you pin it now, find some ways to tie it to another content area, artists, etc… all you have to do later is write the actual lesson plan!
7) Review your 201 Binder
Remember that binder that you were excited to make your first semester of art education? I forgot about it once the big bad teacher portfolio showed up. You would not believe how valuable this tool can be! Sometimes in school unexpected events happen (assemblies, library days, etc) and so all of a sudden you are cut down to a 15-minute class with your students. Take advantage of those quick kits that Wayne gave us and review them
so that you can use them at the drop of a hat!
8) Get a Dropbox Account
This is a wonderful online application that is basically a folder on your computer that is also saved online. It saved me a lot of time because you can share your folder with other users… like your CT. Within five seconds of uploading a file to my folder my CT could access and print it out for me. Plus, if your computer crashes it is still saved online!
9) Streamline Your Lesson Planning
I found myself doing a lot of repetitive work when it came to writing lesson plans… so I sat down one night and found ways to make my lesson planning writing more efficient. It is probably different for each person, but what saved me time was typing up everything once and formatting it to match the lesson plan template with the same font and size. That way each time I cranked out a new lesson plan all I had to do was copy and paste and move on to the next without a second glance!
10) Blow off Steam
Just like any day with college classes there are those days you may want to pull your hair out. It is nothing
like the fall semester of 309, but it is crucial to make time to get rid of stress. Find something that you think
is crazy and DO it. Chances are it will take your mind off student teaching for a little while. For instance, I tried competitive walking. It was a fun way to do a 5k and even though I probably will never walk one again, I had
a fun morning and felt relaxed!