Autumn Stiller: Blog II

How have you grown as a teacher from this experience so far (skills, understanding, or knowledge gained) (lesson planning, classroom management, demonstrations, etc…)?

I have gained a new understanding when it comes to individual student situations, how it can affect their behavior and ways to deal with those situations. I also have learned the limits of my students’ skills as artists. Choosing more challenging projects in moderation can help push students just enough but, challenging them too often can cause discouragement. I have become more attentive to the fact that project introductions and demonstrations need to be kept short enough for students to have time to work on and finish their projects in the time allowed. It has been challenging to come up with one day lessons. Two day lessons aren’t recommended because you may or may not have to same group of students the next day. I think I have grown and been able to have enough practice with one day lesson that I feel more confident that the majority of students will have just the right amount of time to complete them.


What new understandings do you have about children/education/your role in the classroom?

A new understanding that I have about the classroom is how much control I have and need to assert. Until this experience I have only worked with students from well off family backgrounds and have little struggle in their lives. This opened my eyes up to the many different family backgrounds and situations students are in and how that can affect their behavior. Based on their background, each student may need to be treated/educated in different ways in order to get through to them.

What has made you happy about teaching this quarter?

One thing that has been rewarding through this experience is that as students have been working on crafts I have received work from some unexpected students with messages that say, “You’re awesome! Best art teacher!” These messages from students encourage me because, it’s validation that I might be getting through to them the passion that I have for teaching art. I have enjoyed encouraging and challenging students with new projects that they initially feel are impossible but, by the end of our time together, have executed well and learned something new. I love to see students who are proud of their work.

What is something that you would like to work on improving by the end of the semester?

By the end of the semester I would like to work on improving how to confront negative behavior in the classroom. I would also like to improve my authority in the classroom as well. It has been challenging at times to get the attention of some students. I know these are the areas in which I lack extensive experience. I hope to find the strategy that works best for me.