December Shines Brightly!

Exploring tape resist and paint.

Exploring tape resist and paint.

December is always a busy month. My older son has a birthday, and there are the holidays. I really looked forward to the vacation to have some time at home, and like everyone else was counting the days. I have been cleaning my house and decluttering. My garage which is no longer for cars was overflowing with boxes of art supplies. Every school morning I load up my car, and in the evening I unload it. After a school week, things get messy. Somehow the organized box of supplies never gets put away with the thoughtfulness it was stocked with.  Supplies are dumped in and hustled out to the car. I usually tidy up on the weekend. However four months of school takes its toll, and my garage was in a pretty sad state. I spent the better part of a day sorting, tidying, and reviewing all of my supplies. Some things need to make their way into student hands and others need to be replenished. Some just need the old heave ho!

P1050156

Students excited for the holidays engage, interact, and create art as well as messes! Clean up is taking longer, short changing reflection time. Resolve for students to improve clean up strategies to make more time for sharing and reflection!

I often fly to California to visit family, and though I missed seeing them, I’ve been really glad to have this time at home. I’ve relaxed, played board games with my kids, cooked, and CLEANED my house from top to bottom! Although the cleaning feels like drudgery and I can dream up a zillion other things I’d rather do, the end result is so very worth it! I feel ready to plunge in to some serious art making now that I’m not looking at miles of piles! Yes there is still one storage closet that could use some TLC, but I know that I can tackle it on a weekend in January when we’re bound to have some more rainy weather!
For this new year I’m hoping to spend more time drawing, painting, and creating with fibers and fabric. As an art educator I need to keep my own art process alive! Working with students is so rewarding, but I know I have more enthusiasm when my own creative juices are flowing and my cup is full rather than empty!
I also would like to finish reading several art education books which I have begun! When I was working on my master’s degree I read so many interesting articles and books. During the first year after I finished my masters I was still on a roll reading, reading, reading! This past year most of my reading has been online with lots of great input and ideas, but I really need to finish those books! Additionally I’ve bought more books thinking I’ll read them, and then they sit on my bedside table giving me guilt pangs each time I pass them by!

Cardboard ornaments were jazzed up with colored string, glitter glue, and bling.

Cardboard ornaments were jazzed up with colored string, glitter glue, and bling.

When I return to the classroom next week, my main goal is to incorporate more reflection at the end of studio time. Right before the holidays students were very excited and less focused, making clean up time take twice as long which left little to no time for reflection. One of my kindergarten students Jamison asked, “Aren’t we going to have a gallery walk Mrs. Rice?” Sad to say….we’d run out of time and consequently that valuable experience of sharing our processes, discoveries, and ideas was skipped.
So with another week of vacation to replenish myself I am happily looking forward to a wonderful new year, and hope you are too! I wish you all happy holidays!

Cinnamon ornaments  made with cinnamon, apple sauce and glue.  the cinnamon dough smelled wonderful and was  a new texture to experience working with.

Cinnamon ornaments made with cinnamon, apple sauce and glue. The cinnamon dough smelled wonderful and was a new texture to experience working with.

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About francifularts

I am an independent art educator. I had my first experience teaching ceramics when I was 24 and worked in the University for Youth program at the University of Denver. As an elementary school teacher I always found myself integrating the arts across the curriculum, which led to me working as an artist in the schools. In May of 2008 I began a master's program with Lesley University in their Creative Arts in Learning Program. It was a truly transformative and incredible experience which led me to decide to devote the rest of my teaching career to teaching art, and through the arts. About the same time that I completed my master's degree in January of 2011 I was hired to teach art in two different programs. I have never been happier in my work as a teacher, and I really appreciate the wonderful professors and cohort of fellow teachers I studied with at Lesley University. I also want to thank all of the wonderful arts educators that I have met online through the TAB/choice list serv for their thoughtful posts and insightful suggestions for teaching art!
This entry was posted in art education, reflections on teaching and learning. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to December Shines Brightly!

  1. Looks like we have quite a few things in common, not the least of which is the state of our cars and garages! Ah, the life of the “independent art instructor”! 🙂 Wouldn’t trade it though.

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