Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 11 2009

Long Overdue!

Ok wow. Lots to say!! I have had 8 weeks of my second year of teaching, and it is (as stated earlier…) MUCH BETTER! There are many reasons for this:
1. I’m a second-year teacher. Nuf’ said.
2. We got a new FABULOUS Principal, who I spoke of in a previous post. I’m still a huge fan of this lady. What a God-send! The structure and accountability she has implemented has made HUGE ripples throughout the school. Praise the Lord! Me likes.
3. The relationships I have in my life are deep & meaningful, & serve as a HUGE encouragement. This includes my 3 roomies, my close friends/co-workers at Hope, my community group & congregation of Believers at Advent (who are also a lot of my co-workers…ha! love it), and not forgetting my amazing family, friends, & boyfriend that are currently back in Oklahoma. Even though they are not close in proximity, we are still all very close in spirit. I praise God for all of you! Where would I be without your long-distance love & support? So thankful.
4. I’ve learned to say NO to certain things & take care of myself!! I didn’t do this very well last year… I have boundaries now and have found other ways to get my school the things it needs without depleting my own time/resources. For example…
* Rather than trying to coach the middle school dance team again this year, I found a Non-Profit program called Motion Express – provided by Joy of Motion Dance Center – that will provide 20 weeks of FREE dance to Title 1 Charters in DC!! AMAZING! I had the first 20 middle schoolers to sign up get in the program, and they start THIS TUESDAY! ;) Our 6-8th graders will learn 20 hours worth or Hip-Hop, and have one performance in the Fall, & one in the Spring! WAHOO! Does it get any more win-win than that? Thanks God!
*Also > I made an exhaaaustive art supply list for parents this year, and have actually had quite a bit of donations! Our parents are very giving, which might surprise some, considering the socioeconomic status of most. It actually does make sense that those who have been in great need, and know how that feels, will contribute to others who are in even worse states than themselves. What a beautiful, sacrificial gift. It makes the giving that they do give, even greater!
Other ways that I would like to improve the state of my school, and plan to do this year, are create a “Donors Choose” website (why have I NOT done this yet? I need to get on that ASAP! Keep me accountable people!!) Also, in a few weeks, it will be the end of the 1st quarter, and I’d like to begin the second year of “Hope for Christ Fellowship.”
This year, Hope for Christ Fellowship will be a joint effort between myself and a new TFAer, Ashley Younger. (Side Note: If you haven’t talked to me or read in earlier posts about Hope For Christ Fellowship > It is a Christian Club I started at my school in the Spring of last year, consisting of about 13 middle school students. It was a sweet time I spent with kiddos, once a week, for an hour, in my art classroom. We discussed random issues, looked up scripture, & prayed together. Simple, not very structured, but life-giving.) Back to Ashley…
Ashley is our amazing, new middle school math teacher! She went to my alma mater’s rival university, Texas ;P haha, good thing I am an awful Sooner’s fan…but she doesn’t seem to care that much either. lol. What we both really DO care about, is trying our best to reflect the face of Jesus to our students and our community at Hope. She is another God-send in my life this year! How sweet it is to have another person to partner with in ministry that ‘gets it!’ Hallelujah!!

What I have LOVED about this year:
Beginning the year teaching 8th graders, every day, from 12-1pm, for 8 weeks straight. We have looked at a different artist each week, from the Post-WWII Era, then done a project in that artist’s style. Here is what we’ve covered….
1. Jackson Pollock : Abstract Expressionism/Action Painting
2. Willem de Kooning : Gesturalism
3. Mark Rothko : Color Field Painting/Color Schemes
4. Helen Frankenthaler : Lyrical Abstraction
5. Andy Warhol : Pop Art/Screen-printing/Self-Portrait
6. Romare Bearden : Collage/Harlem Renaissance
7. Jacob Lawrence : Migration Series/Cubism << teaching this for their LAST week in my class, and
giving their final on THURSDAY~ Pray they do well!

I have covered the elements of art with Prek-5th grade, using a variety of projects so far. Next quarter, I will do projects based off of which culture or region the kids are studying in history or social studies. (Ex: 1st grade will look at Egypt > create Egyptian pyramid, etc)
More to come…

2 Responses

  1. wearepennstate

    It sounds like you’re diong such a great job. I’m in my third year now, but I remember the transition from first to second year was SO nice- enjoy it!

  2. Hiya, nice day.. Your article is very inspiring. I never considered that it was feasible to carry out something like that until after I checked out your content. You definitely offered a great insight on how this kind of whole system works. I will always come back for more information. Keep it up!

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Adventures of an Art Teacher

D.C. Region
Elementary School

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