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Arts & Activities - Page 10

Stepping Stones by heidi o'hanley Stepping Stones is a monthly column that breaks down seemingly daunting tasks into simple, manageable “steps” that any art educator can take and apply directly to their classroom. Stepping Stones will explore a variety of topics and share advice for art-on-a-cart teachers and those with art rooms. CHALLENGES AND JOYS OF SHARING SPACES arranged the tables and seats in the art room until after it was done. I discovered how challenging it was to navigate the room, and instead of keeping it to myself, I voiced my concern politely. ChaLLenGe: DisPLay sPaCe Throughout the school, everyone battles for display space. My co-worker and I have specific spaces, but we have had conflicts with the usage of that space. This year, we decided to alternate displays each month. This gives us a chance to showcase student work from both art teachers. I always wish I could show more of my student’s work. Who doesn’t want to show off their awesome, amazing masterpieces? Still, as role models for our students, we can show how sharing is positive thing to do! share an art room with another art teacher. I also share another room at another school with two music teachers. As nice as it would be to have my own space, I’ve learned that sharing a space can be very productive and enlightening. Be it a classroom, cart or mobile room, at some point in time you may have to share a space with another dominant type-A personality. Both of you may want to use the space for your advantage and clashing may occur. I would like to list some challenges I have come across and then share some ideas with you about what may work best if you have a similar situation. i 4 case, I am the novice. I’ve been in the district for six years, my co-worker for over 20 years. Knowledge and wisdom are wonderful tools, as well as mentorship possibilities. Respect the advice your co-worker gives—he or she may have some good stories to share. At the same time, offer new insights and ideas to brighten the curriculum. As a team, you can create wonderful lessons together. ChaLLenGe: MateriaLs At the school where I share a room with another art teacher, I learned from day one that materials are ordered separately. My co-workers and I have saved on countless frustrations because we knew to keep our materials separate. We share a few materials, such as the drying rack, paint cups and the cutting board, but almost everything else is our own. When we were both on carts, we had our own storage space separated, and it worked wonderfully. Now that we have a shared room, we have our own shelves and space in the room for our materials. This way, when one teacher walks out and the next teacher walks in, our materials are still there, especially the consumables. With a shared room now, we combine crayons, markers, colored pencils and drawing books, since they’re the most used items for projects. COMMUniCatiOn No matter with whom you share a space (even if it’s only a storage closet), there may be different ideas about arrangements. Make sure you share your thoughts and ideas, but don’t diminish the other teacher’s opinions. Make sure it’s a shared space that you both can enjoy. Talk about your plans and work together. In my case, I did not speak up when we ChaLLenGe: 10 1 ChaLLenGe: veteran teaCher vs. nOviCe In my 2 Since the start of the school year, we have had a few mistakes along the way. The key is forgiveness. Everyone makes mistakes. And, holding grudges is never a good thing for your stress level and your health. Sometimes one of us forgets to lock the paper cabinet. It happens. Regarding the little mistakes that can happen every day, the key is to communicate, be respectful and try not to make the same mistake twice. If you share a space where one walks out and another walks in, create a checklist to follow before closing out for the day. Although frustrations occur with the sharing of space and materials, some of the positive aspects include: 1. You are not alone in setting up and taking down your space. It’s good to have an extra hand. 2. Having an extra voice when designing a curriculum helps bring in new and innovative ideas. 3. If you share with anyone other than an art teacher, look at the collaborative possibilities. Especially if it’s the music teacher! 4. Having another person in the room with you helps you to feel like you’re not alone. Sometimes, you need someone to vent to, to share your accomplishments, or just to talk with another adult. 5. If you have a novice/veteran situation, imagine the mentorship possibilities. Look past any frustrations you have because, in the end, we love our jobs, we love teaching and we love art. n Heidi O’Hanley is an art teacher for Wilkins and Lyle Elementary Schools. Visit her blog at www.talesfromthe may 2013 • 80 years 5 ChaLLenGe: DeaLinG With the LittLe MistaKes 3 x

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