Sierra Thomfohrda

Sierra Thomfohrda: 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…)?

Throughout this internship my lesson planning and adapting skills have grown. I have learned how to plan an engaging lesson, as well as learned how to adapt that lesson in many ways. From engaging students who are not interested in the media, to students who have different abilities. It has been challenging getting students interested and thinking about the context of projects and I think that is one area that I have grown most. Even if they are using markers and plain paper rather than the media being taught, I talk the student through questions to get them thinking about the content. I have found that most often students become engaged once they are able to connect the context to their own life.


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

I am beginning to understand that in my role as an art educator I am responsible to teach about the elements and principles of design, art history, ect, but I am also responsible for connecting with each student. Taking the time to sit next to a student and help them with their art, but also ask about their day, or weekend. Some of the strongest connections I have made with students this semester have been when I sit next to them to help with their art, but also just listen to what they have to say. Connecting with the students is building a better classroom rapport, and helping me be more in tune with how to address classroom management and knowing why students might be misbehaving or what that students needs to get back on track.

What has made you happy about teaching this quarter?

So far in the internship, I feel the most satisfied when I make a connection with a student or feel that I the students were engaged and absorbing the information. After leaving for the night, and reflecting on how that session went, I feel proud if I was able to manage a behavior situation or talk through a problem with a student. When we made bubble paper, the room was a disaster, but the students were well behaved, experimenting with materials, sharing ideas, and having so much fun. That was one of the most rewarding days, to see the students so engaged in their creations.

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

I would definitely like to improve my classroom management skills. During the class students have a hard time interacting with each other in a positive way. I am currently and would like to continue to develop my classroom management skills in building a class community where students interact positively and support each other. I am not sure what to say in situations or how to redirect students into positive interaction. Another thing I want to develop more is knowing what will help students when the need time to regroup.

Sierra Thomfohrda: Blog I

What is your teaching experience so far?


I have had a variety of teaching experiences thus far. For classes I have taught a single lesson to kindergarteners for the ArtEd 108 class, completed 30 hours for a practicum in 208 where I taught a ceramics lesson to 5th graders, and completed 40 hours for a practicum in ArtEd 308 where I worked with k-12 grades and taught my edTPA lesson to third graders. I have also completed multiple PAINT internships. One working with Art at the Arc and Thursday Night Thrill Seekers teaching adults with disabilities. I taught a sculpture class for the Boys and Girls Club and am currently teaching Collaborative Art there. I have also done two semesters of teaching watercolor at the Dunn County Jail.



What are you looking forward to about the class you will be teaching?

I am looking forward to exploring the possibilities and limitations of the class and introducing the students to those possibilities of collaborative arts. I am also looking forward to getting the chance to work with and get to know all of the students and what their abilities are. I am eager to investigate the compatibility of natural elements and man made materials. I also look forward to learning how students work on larger scale projects.

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What do you hope to learn/gain from this experience?

Throughout this internship I want to improve my classroom management skills. Things such as knowing how to approach situations, how to talk to students who are struggling or misbehaving, and what is the appropriate and effective way to handle those situations. I also hope to gain the skills to be comfortable being flexible in my lesson plan, and allow students to make their own art, and how to handle when students ‘finish’ in five minutes. I also plan to work on building rapport with each student, and connecting with all the students.