Day 13 (and fourteen) – Every day blogging is kind of hard.

I love my life, y’all. I really do. When I feel like things are insane and don’t make sense, something happens to make it better. A few posts back, I mentioned that I lost my social media job. This past week, I found two new jobs to help with bills. Granted, they aren’t going to take care of everything I have, and it’s still going to be a tough run the next few months, but I am so excited to be working with Sue and Libby.

Mary's awesome new mixed media work. She's gessoed the surface and is attaching dyed book pages and bleeding tissue paper to the canvas. It reminds me of stained glass.

Mary’s awesome new mixed media work. She’s gessoed the surface and is attaching dyed book pages and bleeding tissue paper to the canvas. It reminds me of stained glass.

I only have a few short weeks left at GWA, and I am dreading leaving. Not necessarily because I am moving to elementary school (although, I am terrified of that) but because I have to leave these kids. Today, Gloria, my supervisor, came to visit and observe my first period class. They were so well behaved and I feel needed and wanted with them, which is something I feel that maybe some of my fellow student teachers do not feel as much of. Working next to Rebecca Bowers has been so good for me. She is the grounding factor — the person who has truly brought this experience to life. I can’t imagine what student teaching at any other school would be like, nor do I want to. I found out today that the yearbook is doing a page on my visit. Who does that? Amazing. They make me feel so special.

Olive, doin' work as always. First period started their mixed media pieces. Olive has big plans for this work.

Olive, doin’ work as always. First period started their mixed media pieces. Olive has big plans for this work.

So first period started their mixed media assignments. So far, everyone seems pretty pumped about the projects they have planned. I am eating it up because I ADORE mixed media — this facet of art making is where my heart resides the majority of the time.

Katherine decided to be brave and try a new medium today -- encaustic. Bowers and I are so excited and want to put melted wax on everything now!

Katherine decided to be brave and try a new medium today — encaustic. Bowers and I are so excited and want to put melted wax on everything now!

The Homage project is going so well. I feel like our fourth period is really getting the hang of the different processes. Bowers and I discussed the project some last week… I was nervous because students seemed a bit frustrated and lost. She told me though, that she was never able to teach more than one process at a time because she could only be in one place at a time. The students have been given three options for this: throwing, coil building and pinch pots. It’s truly amazing what some of them are making:

Taylor working on her coiled vessel.

Taylor working on her coiled vessel.

Ashley smoothing out several rows of her coils.

Ashley smoothing out several rows of her coils.

Dustin has already completed both cups (pinch pots... aren't they stunning?) and has now moved on to his storage vessel! So proud.

Dustin has already completed both cups (pinch pots… aren’t they stunning?) and has now moved on to his storage vessel! So proud.

I’m continuing to work on a mixed media piece of my own — I believe it will be the piece I use in my exit show this spring. It has grown and shifted and is a piece that discusses ups, downs, and constant searching. I’ve decided to be brave and do a self-portrait. Bowers and I discussed (PS – I LOVE how many times I can include those four words in a single blog post… she’s so amazing) the feelings my piece provokes, and I agreed with her when she said a self-portrait is a very vulnerable work. It will pair well with the layering and handwritten text I have going now. I will photograph it tomorrow and post, so you can see the update (if you care to).

This time has passed too quickly. Every day reveals something more beautiful than the last. AP stole my heart today (they do every day, of course, but today was the best one yet). I watched three students try a brand new medium/process they have never done before, I laughed until I cried, watched Aud and Kelly pour too much tempera, made stamps next to Stephen, admired Pellegrino’s portrait, added another layer of gesso and talked a lot about wax… (AB).

I thought a lot today during planning when I was working on my piece. I wrote on it “if teaching is easy, you’re doing it wrong.” I think tomorrow I will add “if teaching is everything you could ever want and more, you’re doing it right.”

I dunno. I am the learned and the learner. The art educator and the artist. It’s becoming harder every day to separate these roles, and I think that is perfect.

Song of the Blog:
THE LIGHTHOUSE SONG // NICKEL CREEK

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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

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.