Sunday, May 29, 2011

I learned more than I taught...

About six years ago, one of the elementary teachers approached me and asked if I would volunteer to be one of the art docents for the school. Nick was a student in her class at the time and since he is uber-artistic, she thought I must be too. Ha... Not the case! My first instinct was to say no and run away knowing that my lack of art skills would steer the students wrong and they would be stuck with an art teacher that rocks at stick figures and that's about it. But Nick pleaded with me to be his art docent, and I couldn't let my little red headed 3rd grader down.


Over these six years I have stood up in front of classrooms full of kids once every month to teach them a little about famous artists from around the world and have taught them about different styles of art. Everything from Impressionism to Abstract, the list goes on and on...
And one of the best parts of this journey was getting to learn about art/artists myself. I have learned so much from having to do research for each lesson. It's been fantastic!!
But, by far, the best part of being an art docent was getting to be with the kids. Their eyes would always light up when they'd come in the room from recess to see me with all my art "stuff" ready for them to start the fun. I don't think being a "math docent" would warrant the delightful cheers an art docent receives. :)


I taught Nick's classes and soon after began to teach Nolan's classes too. Nolan has pretty much been with the same group of kids since third grade so I have really gotten to know each kid quite well. I know what their skill levels are, what they like and dislike as far as art, and how much time I should expect them to complete a project. I've also learned that this group of kids he's been with are a complete joy in every way! They have been the most positive students and have had an eagerness to learn and participate each month. They are truly friends with one another and for a class of 26 that is no easy feat. It has been refreshing and fun to teach this group over the years.


Since Nolan is moving on to Middle school next year, last Friday was my final art lesson. We were learning about Georges Seurat and how he was famous for Pointillism. (Art that consists of tiny dots of color that are not blended together on the canvas.) I wanted to have fun and make the final project different than anything we had ever done before. So instead of breaking out the paint brushes and paper; I brought in rice crispy treats, frosting, and jumbo sprinkles! (I wanted to make sure I saw plenty of smiling faces on the final day!) They created their own "pointillism" creations with the help of a toothpick and came up with some great edible art! I took a picture of every one's before they ate the tiny works of art.
Here's Nolan with his "Baseball"
It took Nolan about 40 minutes to create this masterpiece and only about 40 seconds to consume it!
This is one of my favorites... made by a sweet girl named Jordan. (I have pictures of all the kids, but I don't think it's right to put them up on this here Internet without their parents permission.)
Another fave! Look at that fishy swimming amongst the seaweed. Amazing what you can do with a rice crispy treat, huh?!
;
;
I was more bummed that I thought I would be when the day was over. I really like this group of kids and I'm sure gonna miss seeing their smiling faces every month. A couple of them gave me a big squeeze as they said goodbye. It's been such a fun experience for me and I'm glad Nicholas guilted me into this whole art docent thing six years ago. I'm sure I will always look back and remember it fondly!

17 comments:

secondsister said...

You are such a terrific & talented Mom. I was always a room mother, but never had your creativity to teach. Your boys will always remember those classes & the love you put into them.

Kelly said...

Thanks Lee... That is very sweet!

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