|Unrelated image done by a fourth grade girl earlier this week.|
There are so many different supplies out at one time! Isn't cleanup chaos?
Since I only open centers (stations with different types of art supplies: i.e. drawing, painting, clay) one at a time, we spend a lot of time talking about how to care and clean the supplies at each center. I only open new centers when students have demonstrated they can take care of the open ones well. If a center is not cleaned properly I may close it for a class or two for "repaires" and only reopen the center after we review cleanup. Is cleanup always perfect? of course not, but I feel it is very similar, if not a little better, than when I taught in a Teacher Directed style.
|Sorry for the fuzzy photo. This second grader|
thought it was hilarious to dress this man in
a pretty pink dress. Why not?
Not really. I think all middle school art teachers run into some issues of theft, especially pencils and erasures, but fortunately I have not had any major issues with other supplies so far (fingers crossed!). I try to be carful and not leave out expensive materials, or will only pass out by hand tools that disappear a lot (like sharpies). Sometimes I cannot find something and will think, "Oh man, some kid stole it!" But, sure enough, it usually is floating around the room because I did not put it away in the right place.
I heard that a lot of principals hate choice based art and will not let you do it!
I have heard that too. I have been so lucky that my administration really supports me and believes in my program. I think a big part of it is educating your administrators, coworkers and parents about the merits of choice based art. I have a school website that discribes choice based art and what we do in my class. I also print the same text onto brochures that I hand to every adult that walks into my doorway. I have to admit, the webpage info and brochure were written by another TAB teacher on the Yahoo Groups Page (hi Cynthia Barnes!), but appropriation is a part of art, right? Right?
|Two middle school girls worked on this BIG mixed media|
piece for weeks and I never noticed the yellow ninja until
they help it up at critique. Blew my mind.
Is a TAB classroom right for everyone? Probably not. But that is something I love about art education. There are many right ways to go about teaching art. What matters is what makes sense to you, your personality, your students, and your resources. Just remember: Who has two thumbs and has the best job in the building? This guy!
|wow...only look slightly insane.|
How would you have answered those questions? Do you (did you) have any other apprehensions when learning about TAB and a Choice Based Art studio?