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I teach mostly 2D drawing and painting classes at our high school. I also teach Advanced Placement Studio Art classes to my top juniors and seniors which is a college level/honors 2D class . My first hour is a craft class that is mostly peopled by seniors. I love starting my day with my senior crafters.
When I started teaching 17 years ago after years of having my own art studio and working full time in social work, I had no idea what to do with a high school level craft class. The teacher before had taught since I had graduated and for 30 years she had her students painting prepoured ceramic statues and doing cross stitch sewing. I knew I wanted to go in a different direction.
Now I teach a variety of inexpensive crafts that focus on using recyclables and everyday materials. We don't live near a major craft store and most of my students are on free and reduced lunches with no money to purchase supplies. As most folks know - crafting can be horribly expensive if you aren't careful.
This week I have been preparing to start a coil basket making unit with my crafters. I actually haven't done this unit for nearly 10 years so I had some brushing up to do. I am excited to start the unit with my students. We are using cheap clothesline rope for our basket core and then I am giving them a choice to weave with traditional raffia, yarn, strips of fabric or strips of plastic trash/store bags.
As an art teacher, one of the greatest challenges is managing a classroom filled with different supplies for different mediums. It is also a challenge to prepare new units with lots of examples of project steps. I am fortunate to have a giant Smart board/projector and a document reader which lets me demonstrate a tiny process and have it projected across a whole wall. All these teaching techniques requires lots of hour outside of class to prepare.
I am having a lot of fun weaving my examples. I always get so inspired when I start a new unit. I want to drop everything and just play away the day.