Substitute Teaching

Santa Cruz Teddy BearI found out at around 11 this morning that the art teacher where I’ve been subbing is very sick, and I need to take her classes for the indefinate future, starting toworrow. Since I have no idea what they’ve been doing all year, I figured I’d give them a drawing test, then have them draw each other, and see if they know what they’re doing. The test is to draw a stuffed animal in charcoal on 9×12 paper, as well as they can in 15 minutes. The one at left is mine (actually, I think it took 17 min.). I just hope they’ll be willing to actually do what I ask them to!

SO it turns out, the teacher I’m subbing for is going to be out for the rest of the year, and didn’t leave and lesson plans, so I have to come up with stuff to do and then teach it for the next nine weeks (I’ve been here for three weeks already). So far things are going all right, with the normal frustrations of working at a high school – especially a rural Arizona high school – and a lovely resperatory cold these past five days. I think I want to get a masters in something and try to teach at a junior college.

Anyway, I’ve already pretty much given up on the discipline and organization I had to practice as a student teacher, and am practicing a much more Laissez-faire style of teaching – going around to each student and suggesting improvements on whatever they already know how to do. I am, unfortunately, not a particularly good lecturer – which is hardly surprising, since I don’t know all that much, and haven’t had much practice before. Now does not seem the time to get that practice, since the teachers who do want to lecture and aren’t brilliant at it have to bellow a lot to get the students to be quiet. I can’t bellow, and don’t intend to try.

On the subject of not knowing very much – it’s true, I don’t, and would very much like to fix that, but hardly know how to start. As an art teacher, I’m supposed to be able and willing to teach any form of visual art I can find supplies for, including aspects of production, history, criticism, and aesthetics, and in almost all of those areas I have only a very superficial and spotty understanding so far. I’m actually best at textiles and figurines, but there’s not much call to be teaching those things, especially in high school. So I’d better learn to be good at some stuff. But what? I’m halfway decent at drawing, and don’t particularly want to do it any better – I could work on painting (I’d prefer iconography), but have nothing I particularly want to paint. In fact, I have nothing I particularly want to make artistically at all, except for maybe some social comment stuff ridiculing Education. This is a rather sad state to be in – I’m tempted to want to get a MFA, so I have to become proficient in something, but I’d really rather get a MA in liberal arts. *sigh* I’m very wishy-washy.

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