My students are part of a low-income, high poverty, and very diverse school. They are faced with several challenges both in and out of the classroom. Because of the complex home lives they come from, I am working to keep things simple and provide my students with creative and meaningful learning experiences in the art room.
My students are creative, smart and very energetic.
They like to learn new things, they love to create and love lots of positive attention. Many of them receive a free lunch based on their socioeconomic status. Multiple circumstances may prevent them from getting ahead early in life and may not provide them with the life experiences many of us see as "typical". In my classroom I try to expose them to as many art subjects as I can during the time I have them in class. This provides them the opportunity to experience things they might not otherwise get to experience. My room has become a place to try new things, share ideas, and feel accepted.
Students will be using the pottery wheels and ceramic tools to create their own unique clay pottery and sculptures. Clay was brought back to their curriculum only a year and a half ago when I took the position as the art teacher in their school. The excitement and creativity that resulted in being able to use this new art subject was incredible to see. Recently we had a local clay artist come in to visit our classroom and show us the process of throwing pottery on a wheel. Some of the students were able to try throwing while she was visiting. The engagement and interest in throwing pottery was very high. In a world where teenagers are constantly distracted with social media and all the other things they are exposed to, it was encouraging to see their interest in an art form that was hands on. Being able to use a pottery wheel will help them connect how art can have a function and understand the process of how things are made in a more direct way. The process is also very therapeutic in nature so it will be fun to see how different students react to working on it.
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