Day 10 – and eleven

So last night I didn’t post. Because I suck. Actually, there are a few reasons I didn’t post, but that doesn’t really matter. I’m here now, right?

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Sometimes I wonder what else I would write on this blog if I knew it wasn’t public, or that many people could find it. The past two days have been a little tough, and for reasons I should not and cannot discuss, if I want to be considered professional. More than anything else, I wonder when confrontation changed from face to face to behind the internet, and I also wonder how many people get hurt on a daily basis about the careless comments other people make. I also wish I had the guts to defend and protect and step up when it is necessary. After seeing someone amazing get hurt several times over, it’s becoming more compelling every day to put on the Superman suit under my work clothes… I know my followers probably don’t need to hear this, but maybe some of your friends or kids need to: don’t be a coward. Don’t say hurtful things as if they have no consequence. Don’t be stupid and foolish enough to think that you can keep those things a secret when they’re floating around in the universe for anyone to find. And don’t do it to the people I love. Because I’m not afraid. I’m a Hufflepuff, and we are fiercely loyal and never interfere until we are attacked. Once that happens, you better tuck your tail and run. I will dig you out of the ground if I must.

Ashley's beautiful india ink painting!

Ashley’s beautiful india ink painting!

Okay, end rant. Sorry. Other, amazing things have happened, too (and they obviously outweigh any bad!)

Ortega's Tower Bridge is coming along so beautifully!

Ortega’s Tower Bridge is coming along so beautifully!

Bowers finally came back to school today! HOORAY! We all missed her, but I especially did! Yesterday I was with Mr. Reagan, who was SO awesome, but it still felt weird not having Bowers there. Today we were day-dreaming about co-teaching. We decided we would take over the world, if it were possible for the two of us to work together. It was awesome.

Dylis' prisma has progressed so much. These skin tones are so gorgeous.

Dylis’ prisma has progressed so much. These skin tones are so gorgeous.

So Monday we are starting a mixed media assignment with first block! It’s going to be so awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love mixed media, it’s one of the things I feel comfortable and confident doing. I actually have quite a few students who are interested in doing embroidery! AB already has this gorgeous piece mapped out, but Kristen is going to embroider her work, too!

KDunn's portrait/mixed media piece in the beginning stages!

KDunn’s portrait/mixed media piece in the beginning stages!

Do you guys remember the project of Caroline’s I was talking about last blog? Take a look at this! I am so in love with it:

Caroline's painting!

Caroline’s painting!

A detail shot of the painting! She used paint palettes and is now adding color on top of them.

A detail shot of the painting! She used paint palettes and is now adding color on top of them.

Bailey's prisma. The reflections are so awesome.

Bailey’s prisma. The reflections are so awesome.

Today, eighth grade had their first “Experimental Friday.” Every Friday, Bowers allows anyone in any of her classes (except for maybe AP) to work on something different, usually visual journals! Today our sweet 8th graders worked on theirs for the first time! Bowers gave a demo on bleeding tissue paper (one of my FAVORITE things ever)!

Bowers giving a demo!

Bowers giving a demo!

Our 8th graders made some BEAUTIFUL pages today — I am so moved by their kind hearts.

Stevi experimenting with bleeding tissue paper!

Stevi experimenting with bleeding tissue paper!

Mallory's visual journal page

Mallory’s visual journal page

Jesse's visual journal

Jesse’s visual journal

Stevi and Mallory tag-teaming a page.

Stevi and Mallory tag-teaming a page.

My beautiful classroom and gorgeous students working hard in their journals.

My beautiful classroom and gorgeous students working hard in their journals.

These kids skills have improved so much in just two short weeks.ย  They are such great listeners, and have been working hard. I love seeing their faces every single day, knowing they are eager and excited to be in our class. Their visual journal pages were beautiful.

Danielle's visual journal page, inspired by song lyrics by Passenger (I think...)

Danielle’s visual journal page, inspired by song lyrics by Passenger (I think…)

Macy's awesome visual journal page! Love the tufts of tissue paper.

Macy’s awesome visual journal page! Love the tufts of tissue paper.

4th period’s clay project is going really well! We have a lot of students making pinch pot cups (Ted would be so glad!) and the homage idea has been so beautiful. Jade is paying homage to Poe:

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Audrey started a new piece today… it might look familiar to some of you:

Audrey's started a new breadth piece for her AP concentration!

Audrey’s started a new breadth piece for her AP concentration!

I’m so excited. She’s doing the entire base in watercolor, then she’s going on top of it with prisma and chalk pastel. It’s going to be gorgeous.

So today, for the first time in a long time, I took out a big canvas and started a piece. Bowers talked it out with me. It felt so good to just start working something out without really knowing what the end result was going to be. As I started gesso-ing my found drawing board, I realized in a way it really felt like my life. I know that sounds ridiculous, but this past month and the future months as well hold nothing but unknown territory for me. I don’t know how I’m going to pay my bills, not sure I’m going to find a job when I graduate, I have no idea if I will be successful in an elementary school, I have no idea where I’ll be living or what my life will be like… but the idea of all the things that CAN happen are so incredible and beautiful it’s almost worth the terror of uncharted waters.

Maybe it’s okay to let things happen. Maybe it’s okay to not be certain of what’s next in line. Maybe it’s okay to work it as you go and to accept what comes, and what doesn’t. Maybe it’s okay to fail and try again until you figure it out. Maybe all those things together can make something really beautiful…

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Today, after most of AP had cleared out, AB turned around as she was walking out the door and said something magic:

“Love you, Ms. Mockett”

Song of the blog:
AIN’T IT FUN // PARAMORE

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Day 9 – Assume the position

So today was an interesting day… (wow, I have had long nails for a few weeks now, but I cracked one giving my clay demo today and I have trimmed them all. It’s weird to type without them!)

Poor Bowers has been sick and hurt all week. Because of this, everything has been a bit wonky and off. I’ve been much more involved with the students, mostly because Bowers has been home or has been with the doctor. It’s given me a great opportunity to step up as a teacher, though, and become comfortable with trying to take control of situations and handle things. (It isn’t easy and it still feels weird, but I keep telling myself it’s okay and that this is part of the process). I am so glad I’m here to help Bowers out though, because she NEVER misses school, ever (today was her second day in the 8 years of her teaching that she has ever called in sick, and she only came in late. She didn’t even take a full day) and I know it’s stressing her out so hard to be gone. Today was a great day.

Mariam's progress.

Mariam’s progress.

So I’ve started to get really good at this clothes picking thing. For the most part, I’ve been staying in Covington, so I pack for five or so days at a time. I’ve got a week’s worth of clothes gathered up. That wasn’t even relevant.

So today my fourth period got several clay demos. It was tough because I felt boring and it took literally the entire class period to give all the demos I needed to… Bowers said I did great, but I’m not used to 50 minute studio time. College has spoiled me that way.

Wedging, ugh. The hardest part of teaching a ceramics unit. -__-

Wedging, ugh. The hardest part of teaching a ceramics unit. -__-

Sarah had this amazing sketch ready to show me today… I could tell she had taken it home and worked on it, which made me ecstatic. I also had an eighth grader tell me today that I needed to read the Fault in our Stars, by John Green. I told Kaitlyn I hadn’t read it and she said “OH! I will bring it in for you tomorrow! It is SO good!” Haha, loving the fact that I’m already borrowing books from my students. I’ll have to interrupt Atlas Shrugged so I can get Kaitlyn her book back before I leave at the end of February. I’m so excited.

Emily's pattern filled prisma.

Emily’s pattern filled prisma.

My fourth period also asked me today how our observation went yesterday. They were SO well behaved. Today at my seminar, I got my results back from my supervising teacher. I got a perfect score. How amazing is that? I was not expecting that in any way, but I am so glad it happened. I have to thank my kids and I cannot WAIT to tell them tomorrow.

McKenzie's gorgeous painting.

McKenzie’s gorgeous painting.

An interesting thought has been moving around in my head the past week or so. I wonder how many individuals confuse caring and having a relationship for your students as being a “friend” with your student. Bowers and I had a really long chat about that last week, and thinking that being friends with your kids and caring for your kids are the same thing really upset me for some reason. They are so different. I would not expect to go out and grab Pho with my students (Kelsey <3). But I do want to hear about how Payton’s race went last night at the swim meet, and I do want to know what Kennedy’s favorite actresses are. I do want to know that Ortega prefers one Chik Fil A over another (that freezer taste, eck) or that Zep loves stuffed nachos from Taco Bell. I want to hear about Libby’s volleyball tournaments and the status of Rachel’s scholarships to SCAD are. I DO want to know what happens in my kids lives, and I don’t want that to be interpreted as being desperate to receive love or trying too hard. I want to know those things because I care about them, and I want to learn them like the back of my hand. They give me beautiful things every day, through their art, their conversation, and their willingness to please. The least I can do is return all the love I can muster as a thank you. They are the reason I am here and want to teach at all. They are not my friends. They are my kids. My mentees, my confidantes, my laughter and my grounding. My life is going to revolve around them. That doesn’t stop when the last bell rings, or when I’m home cooking dinner or out with friends. Those kids possess your heart.

My doodles are evolving every day. My art making has increased ten-fold.

My doodles are evolving every day. My art making has increased ten-fold.

I just wanted to say that my lady dogs made state tonight. Kit, AB, Cedar, Berkeley… I am SO proud of y’all. I KNEW you would make it tonight, I had no shadow of a doubt, but y’all dropped two entire seconds. I am so impressed and proud of you.

Faitlin's new project -- that girl is kicking butt and taking names.

Faitlin’s new project — that girl is kicking butt and taking names.

For all my constant readers (I cannot believe I have those), thank you. Of course, I started this blog for my mom and my grandma, but to know other people find so much joy in it reassures me it will serve a grander purpose. I love knowing I am keeping track of this beautiful thing growing inside me, and I’ll be able to trace it back to the beginning.

Tonight, Kelsey said, “Every time I read your blog, I think to myself, I should be as happy as her.” It’s true. You should. Because this week has actually sucked. I lost my job, I’ve been stuffed to the gills with plans and showers and lessons and photo editing and LIFE, I am exhausted EVERY single day, rest or no rest, coffee isn’t cutting it, I am constantly struggling with feeling inadequate, I doubt myself at times and fear my stronger, firmer teacher voice… But that is still so tiny and insignificant to the magic that is happening in this classroom.

Chris Schulte has taught me to find beauty in everything, and Dumbledore said that everything is there if we can only remember to turn on the lights. We move every day through these masses of people, activities, assignments, conversations… several of us pass through them, contributing nothing and taking nothing, like ghosts. It is a lonely and tiring thing to do, to never love or risk or take a chance on something. I’m just an art teacher, but I know one thing: I have never found more power, courage and beauty in myself as I have on this journey. Follow your heart. Pay your own tuition. Take less hours if you need to. Drop out of school and move to Colorado, if you need to. Invest in something crazy, if you need to. DO IT, because time is too damn precious. Tapping your feet and hoping for the day you are ready to be brave will leave you disappointed. It’s today. It is RIGHT NOW. Because to assume there is a tomorrow waiting for you is selfish. To wait for your life to begin is robbing yourself of the life that is already happening. Encounters happen every time you pass someone, every conversation you have, every opportunity to speak or cry or laugh or BE. Take them. Take them and run.

A thank you to an amazing man who has changed this soul forever.

A thank you to an amazing man who has changed this soul forever.

I’m just a teacher, though. What do I know. #thisisthelife
Song of the blog:
SO IMPOSSIBLE // DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL

lumos

 

 

Day 8 – My first lesson went without catastrophe.

To be more than what you have to be, or to feel more, or to allow yourself to be open and to embrace being scared and afraid, or to embrace being happy and to relish in your failures and your successes. And to find a way to translate that into your everyday life, and into your classroom, and making those ideals relatable to your students.

Today was magic. My Homage lesson plan was a hit.

Today was magic. My Homage lesson plan was a hit.

Today was a whirlwind of emotions, but by some miracle, it did not include nerves. I was a bit jittery during planning, but once I picked up Professor Wilson and escorted her back to classroom, I felt relaxed and excited. I reminded myself to focus on the smallest parts of today and to cherish it. And after I decided this, I noticed the details: asking about Cedar’s weekend, checking in with Parker about his leg and MRI, learning that Camille loves Paramore… It became so easy to just melt into them, and Professor Wilson sat with the students. She’s so wonderful and easy to be around, it was almost as if she was one of us.

Hailey, Parker, Wes, Nick and Ivy looking over their new project (HEHE!) while we get the hot tea going.

Hailey, Parker, Wes, Nick and Ivy looking over their new project (HEHE!) while we get the hot tea going.

Here are the requirements for our assignment:

  • 2 cups (may be thrown or hand built)
  • 2 coasters
  • Box/vessel
  • This vessel must hold both cups (which can be stacked, side by side, or nested)
  • This vessel must have a lid that has a found object for a handle

I will also be looking for a connection between your cups, vessel, and individual. In your handout, I will provide prompts to help you explore various qualities and traits about your individual. These prompts are meant to help you make aesthetic decisions and to develop a theme throughout all parts of your โ€œteaโ€ set.

Faitlin, working with paint dripping. So gorgeous and eerie.

Faitlin, working with paint dripping. So gorgeous and eerie.

Should you be interested in our next assignment, try our brainstorming activity we did at the beginning of class today:

On a sheet of paper or in your visual journal, think of 5-7 people who have influenced or changed you. Write them down.

After thinking about our requirements and introduction, select 1 person from your list and answer at least five of the following questions:

  1. Who are you paying homage to?
  2. How does this person make you feel?
  3. If you could pick 2 colors to describe them, which would you choose?
  4. If this person was an animal, what would they be?
  5. List 3 qualities this person possesses that you either see in yourself or wish you had?
  6. How has this person changed the way you see the world?
  7. How did you meet, find, or come across this person?
Lindsey finished her Loki piece! This photograph doesn't do it justice -- I was just trying to prevent a 'prisma sheen'

Lindsey finished her Loki piece! This photograph doesn’t do it justice — I was just trying to prevent a ‘prisma sheen’

This morning, Kristy came in and said something that really made me happy, “Last night, I was telling my dad about how much I like having you in class.” Le grin. I also was thrilled to help Caroline come up with an AMAZING project. I will be posting progress pictures of it, because I think it’s going to be amazing. It’s mixed media, and revolves around this idea of “unfinished” because Caroline really dislikes having to continue to work on things after she’s “over it” to make it look finished. So we’re playing off that idea and including a LOT of color. It’s gonna be awesome!

Bowers doing a value/shading demo to our 8th graders today.

Bowers doing a value/shading demo to our 8th graders today.

Awesome watercolor. Skills and skeletons are pretty popular in the classroom right now.

Awesome watercolor. Skulls and skeletons are pretty popular in the classroom right now.

Panorama of this amazing classroom.

Panorama of this amazing classroom.

Overall, I’m feeling fantastic. Today was exciting and new and fun, but I think it was interesting and I am hoping the students are looking forward to it! I’m going to take a few photos of sketches and brainstorming tomorrow — Cullen had mentioned paying homage to the Mad Hatter — that could be so gorgeous.

Song of the blog:
TAKE IT FROM ME // THE WEEPIES

I survived. I flourished. I am tired. Today was an amazing day.

Pre-Big Day Jitters

So it’s after midnight and I’m sitting in bed. I just completed the finishing touches on my Homage lesson. Earlier today, I confided in a very special friend of mine about my struggles and fears of being an educator, and in response she reminded me of a very important block of time in both of our lives.

Last summer I realized there were other art educators like me. Last summer I was changed forever by the idea of radical hospitality, creative material, and encounters. Last summer, Dr. Christopher Schulte invited me to take part in beautiful conversations that have since unfolded tiny miracle after miracle in my life. Last summer, I lost any shadow of a doubt that this is what I was meant to do, every day, for the rest of my life.

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Sometimes it’s hard to remember those things in the midst of chaos, confusion, huge life changes, lesson planning, figuring out what to wear, trying to have real and meaningful conversations with students… and then I was reminded that life itself is creative material, and each of those things — chaos included — is an opportunity for a new encounter.

Be still, my heart. The ones who hold a very special place. I learned more than I ever thought possible about myself in that short month. To radical hospitality, *clink*

Be still, my heart. The ones who hold a very special place. I learned more than I ever thought possible about myself in that short month. To radical hospitality, *clink*

What is it about words? Somehow they never seem enough, but sometimes, when you need them most, they do more than actions ever could. Rebecca, my very special friend, conducted research in this class over the summer. She interviewed nearly all of us (probably all of us) at the end of the semester. Today she sent my interview to me.

So I think Chris had a role in keeping us as a unit, and respecting us as future educators and as individuals. Who we are and what we had to offer, and being comfortable with acknowledging us. Sometimes he would look at me and after I would say something, I would feel like I had shared was profound. I mean, just looking at me with this like โ€œThank you, for saying that.โ€ So much of the conversation I just wanted to be like, I just wanted to hug and kiss people and be like โ€œYou are genius!โ€ This is incredible. Do you know what you are doing for my heart? Do you know what you are doing for my future? Everything that is happening in this classroom has completely eliminated any shred of a doubt that I would have had about what I wanted to do. Do you know what I mean? I feel in that way Chrisโ€™s role was definitely a unifier, a mediator, a contributor, a strengthener. He was like the backbone, and I feel like we would have gone several of the places, maybe we did, without him, but I feel like it would not have reached the depths that it did, without his contributions, and, and without him allowing us to speak. Maybe his role to was to teach us how to listen, and our role was to be supportive of one another, and to respect one another, and to be open-minded.

Tomorrow is a huge day for me. I know half the people that read this blog understand that this is what I want to do every day for the rest of my life, and I also know that a handful of that half know there are few things in my life I care about more than this. This is not a career to get me through. This isn’t the easy way out, a given gig, an obvious solution. This isn’t what I’m going to do “in the mean time.” This is ALL I want. These students, having a class room, making art surrounded by beautiful souls who fill me with joy whilst simultaneously making me CRAZY, that is what this girl lives for. I am so much less without the existence of this path, and there is nothing I could think of that I would throw my heart into as much as this. The struggle has been real and there have been days I have desperately wanted to throw that towel to the ground and stamp on it and walk away. But there are not enough bad incidents to ever outweigh the good, the incredible spirits I have met could never be ignored now that they have infiltrated my heart, and the passion of the art educators that have taught me shows me I am never alone in wanting the best for my students.

The Labor of Pedagogy

The Labor of Pedagogy

Call me crazy. Call me moronic, idiotic, foolish. You are wrong. I am proud. I am inspired. I am moved and I am moving. I am a believer in encounters and a supporter of radical hospitality. Wide awake… that is what I desperately always want to be.

So here goes nothing. I’m diving in, and I can’t wait to drown my fears. I know this will be everything I could ever dream of, because it already IS. I am only going to find more.

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“You want to know what I make? I make a difference…”

Day 7 – Our Friday

Hi, friends. Today was a very big day for me.ย  My first period class has burrowed into a special place and I’m beginning to feel very welcomed and accepted with them. Yesterday, I was doing my walk-around and noticed Ashley’s visual journal out on her table and asked if I could look at it tomorrow (today). She sent it home with me and I made a page (remember my post yesterday?) for her to glue in if she wanted to. Ashley is a girl after my heart — she loves music (and by love it I truly mean she loves it. Unconditionally). Nearly every page was covered in music lyrics — things that seem hard and true and real and a struggle. It included things that some people may never share with anyone. Knowing Ashley trusted me to see that much of her was a true honor.

My first period has connected with me on so many levels. Yesterday Ashley allowed me to take her visual journal home with her... it was beautiful and packed with song lyrics. I made a spread for Ashley with Incubus lyrics: "There's something about the look in yours. something I notice when the light is just right. It reminded me twice that I was alive, and it reminded me that you're so worth the fight."

My first period has connected with me on so many levels. Yesterday Ashley allowed me to take her visual journal home with her… it was beautiful and packed with song lyrics. I made a spread for Ashley with Incubus lyrics: “There’s something about the look in yours. something I notice when the light is just right. It reminded me twice that I was alive, and it reminded me that you’re so worth the fight.”

Today after she read the page, she walked up to be and gave me a huge hug. “Thank you so much, it’s beautiful.” She walked away and then came the tears. How do you teachers do it? I’m going to cry every day. I’m already at four in a row. I can’t handle it. It’s amazing. She also started a new project today. She’s going to use india inks! So excited:

Ashley's new project!

Ashley’s new project!

Mary's incredible chandelier.

Mary’s incredible chandelier.

Second period, Bowers gave me the courage to help teach. We introduced contour line drawings today. Bowers spoke on contour and gave a mini lesson on line quality and drawing through shapes and line, then transitioned into a contour drawing of their bookbags.

My eighth graders working on contour drawings of their bookbags.

My eighth graders working on contour drawings of their bookbags.

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Bowers working alongside our eighth graders today. One of the things I love most about her is that she makes art with her artists.

Bowers working alongside our eighth graders today. One of the things I love most about her is that she makes art with her artists.

So after we worked on contour drawings, I read an excerpt from a book called “The Things We Carry” by Tim O’Brien, an account of his experiences as a Vietnam soldier.

The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or near necessities were P-38 can openers, pocket knives, heat tabs, wrist watches, dog tags, mosquito repellant, chewing gum, candy, cigarettes, salt tablets, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, sewing kits, Military Payment Certificates, C rations, and two or three canteens of water. Together, these items weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds, depending upon a man’s habits or the rate of metabolism. The things they carried were determined to some extent by superstition. For the most part they carried themselves with poise, a kind of dignity. They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing – these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice barely retrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down.

After I read the excerpt, I explained to our students the difference between tangible and intangible — things we can physically touch and the things we carry inside us. I listed out some quick examples of what intangible burdens may be. We then asked our students to talk about ten things they carry – in the form of a list, a poem or a narrative. As they were working, I passed on student’s paper and saw on their list “regret, envy, need.” Tears filled my eyes as I realized that big things happen before high school. Students of all ages feel so much and they trust us with that information. How beautiful. After they walked out and I wiped those silly,ย  insistent tears from my face, all I could think was “how can this possibly get any better?”

Bowers took a dried paint palette today and turned it into this... she amazes me.

Bowers took a dried paint palette today and turned it into this… she amazes me.

During planning today I decided to write out my ten things I carry in my bag:

visual journal – for the words I can’t find
pencils – to create and erase
fear – of disappointing
pressure – to be perfect, kind, calm, collected, intelligent, funny, professional, wise, responsible, charming, spontaneous, put-together…
worry – that I may not be successful or accepted
mio – to flavor my water… and bring sweetness to the ordinary
harry potter book – to remind me to be brave, even in the midst of dementors
pride – in my accomplishments, in my love for life, in the investments of my heart, and the works and minds of my students
courage – in hopes that one day, when I need it, it will be there
self-worth – if I don’t have it, no one else is carrying it in their bag for me.

Shelby and Animalions in 5th period. :)

Shelby and Animalions in 5th period. ๐Ÿ™‚

This weekend Bowers is running a half marathon in Charleston, so she gave me the day off tomorrow to work on writing my curriculum unit that I start teaching Tuesday (EEEEEEEP!).

Even the substitute folder is beautiful.

Even the substitute folder is beautiful.

Madison's gorgeous prisma.

Madison’s gorgeous prisma.

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Bowers and Fellows experimenting with more paint dripping!

Bowers and Fellows experimenting with more paint dripping!

So I promised my likes and dislikes. Here goes nothing.

  • I don’t like gossip. It makes me sad.
  • I like movies, cars, and jokes. Share those all day long.
  • I don’t like things that look or resemble blood or needles. Don’t joke about that. It will never be funny. Especially when I throw up everywhere.
  • I love Star Trek and Harry Potter.
  • Dogs, chai tea, film photography, Tuscan Red, and small lights make me so happy.
  • I don’t like brussel sprouts. Or asparagus. Ew.
  • I don’t like people talking when I’m giving instructions or saying something important. Rude.
  • I don’t mind cell phones – if you don’t touch them, leave them in my class, text on them, send Snapchats, troll Instagram or Tweet the stupid things I say. There’s a time and place for all of that, and it isn’t in my class.
  • I like weird words, making up words, and using the wrong words. The struggle is real, y’all hang in there.
  • I like Tommy. He’s the coolest person I know. Ask me anything about him. I love to talk about him. (You’ll see)
  • Grading is hard. I don’t like doing it, so don’t give me a reason to give you anything other than an A.
  • I don’t do nails on chalkboards, or anything that resembles that sound. Please, don’t.
  • I’m not into people who talk over others, or who love to hear themselves talk. Give everyone a turn.
  • I’m so into awkward. I love awkward like it’s my job.
  • If I could be any fictional character, ever, it would be Hermione Granger. If you don’t know who that is, take a lap.
  • I love to read, knit, collect dogs and eat sweet potatoes

And I’m sure it will be added to… That was surprisingly funny. It’s almost like an “about me” on MySpace. I haven’t written one of those in ages.

Today’s inspiration pieces:

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Song of the blog:
ECHO // INCUBUS

Day 6 – Just keep swimming

“What do they want to learn?”
“Maybe I should ask them…”

Happy Wednesday, everybody!
Today was a great day. My first blockers make me so happy every morning. I look forward to seeing Ortega stroll in with her letterman sweater and seeing Kit bent over her prisma work. They are such hard workers.

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Kennedy’s awesome painting. It reminds me so much of Audrey Kawasaki.

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Macall’s scratch board. The details in this are remarkable.

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Kasey’s beautiful watercolor work in her visual journal.

I am amazed at our 8th graders. They completed their upside down drawings today and they have literally blown my mind. They are quiet and determined. I have seen so much concentration and a willingness to please.
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Bowers and I plotted out my curriculum unit’s first lesson. I’m so excited, I think our fourth period is going to absolutely love it. I have really enjoyed and appreciated having a mentor that cares about me and wants to give me the best experience she can. George Walton is starting to feel so much like home.

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Ashley shared her visual journal with me today and let me take it home with me. I made a page for her to glue in if she wants. Shhhh.

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What I come home to: the artist in me runs through every part of my life, including my other half. One of the most brilliant artists I know. He is fearless and always finds a way to forge his own path.

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I was honored to have the opportunity to see our water dogs compete today. The girls relay is working to qualify for state. They were so good and I was proud. Every day these kids inch farther inside my heart. I love the idea of teaching, but considering coaching a team makes life seem like it would be even better. What I would give to be a part of this family.

Today’s blog is short. I was wrapped up in being present. ๐Ÿ˜‰ and I’m writing it from my cellphone. I’ll write more in detail tomorrow, so hang tight…

Tomorrow I’m going to list things I like and don’t like… Bowers version of rules. Stay tuned.

Song of the blog:
PUSHER LOVE GIRL // JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

Day 5 – It’s a beautiful day.

I have a sweet potato in the oven and I am so excited about it. I’m starting my post a little late tonight, but unfortunately being a grown up comes first. I’m going to try my very best to be in bed by 11:00 tonight (maybe 10?). We’ll see how that goes…

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Every day is starting to rock my world. I’m getting a little more accustomed to the “Teacher Tired.” I think over the next week or two I will sync up with the schedule. It’s almost like jet lag. I’m working on taking more pictures, because I love a blog with lots of images AND because these kids amaze me literally every single day. I’ve shared this link with them in hopes that they will check it out. I’ve asked all of them if I can share their work and they seem really excited!

First block is such a good way to start my day. They’re a really sweet group of students. Olivia (Olive) has been working on this AMAZING mixed media piece:

Olive's KILLER mixed media piece. She used a laser cutter in combination with bleeding tissue paper, paint, conte crayon and prisma. She's going to collage the rays.

Olive’s KILLER mixed media piece. She used a laser cutter in combination with bleeding tissue paper, paint, conte crayon and prisma. She’s going to collage the rays.

I wanted to spend a little extra time talking about 8th grade today. This is the youngest class Bowers has, and every semester she gets a new group of them. She and I were both excited for me to see how she interacts with a new group. It has helped me so much in planning and considering how I want to structure the psychology and environment of my classroom.

8th grade's intro unit. Bowers is amazing.

8th grade’s intro unit. Bowers is amazing.

Every day I am here, I discover more and more how much I took for granted about Mrs. Bowers. Now that I am seeing her in a different light — as a fellow educator, I am seeing so much more.

I watched her with our eighth grade class today — they are new this semester and most have never drawn before. She started the semester with a firm hand, but today I watched her walk to every table, every student, and a kind word was said to every single one of them. Watching her move and interact brings me literally to tears. I wish I knew in high school what a miracle, a blessing, an aura to the doldrums of life that she was. Seeing the look on these students faces in response to her praises is truly something unforgettable. I want to be this person for someone, someday. Just one person, and my life will be perfect.

Today was the first time the students in 8th grade did a walk-around. This is where all the students stand up and walk about all the tables and look at each others work. Bowers told them before they started that they were never allowed to criticize or mock one anothers’ art work. I love that she is instilling those ideals in her students already.

Dylis works so hard in first block. She never fails to come in and get in the zone.

Dylis works so hard in first block. She never fails to come in and get in the zone.

4th block girls gettin' their paint on. (Ashley and Kennedy make such pretty palettes!)

First block girls gettin’ their paint on. (Ashley and Kennedy make such pretty palettes!)

Camille's astronaut! So beautiful.

Camille’s astronaut! So beautiful.

Tomorrow our girls have a swim meet and I’m wearing my red and black to support them! We’re traveling to Riverside. I haven’t been to a swim meet since I competed in high school (which, let’s be real, was a total joke. I sucked). These girls are so close to qualifying for state, so I’m sending good thoughts, peace and strength to our girls relay.

A man and his duck. Chase got so much done on his prisma assignment today.

A man and his duck. Chase got so much done on his prisma assignment today.

Steven working on a watercolor/prisma shell for AP

Steven working on a watercolor/prisma shell for AP

“my nut in a lifeshell.” – Steven

I’m working on my unit for 4th period. Today I was shown how to order materials, and was also humbled and so grateful by the access I have to such amazing materials here. We were able to order 20 new boxes of clay and 15 new glazes. I am so excited for students to start their “homage” project. I will share in greater detail, but I will drop a hint: it includes a hot beverage with a very important person.

A doodle of mine, inspired by artist Caitlin Foster and my sweet students!

A doodle of mine, inspired by artist Caitlin Foster and my sweet students!

I’m getting stronger. I’m feeling braver. I’m ready.

Song of the blog:
LET THE GROOVE GET IN // JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE