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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a poll, out of curiosity...<br><br>
I work in an art center and play a part in planning and teaching classes, hiring instructors and promotion of programs, and I'm really curious what the parents on MDC board look for when they register their children for art classes.<br><br>
Are you looking more for the convenient day and time, or do you look for specialized classes (Drawing for Boys, Jazzy Jewelry), or do you look for very broad classes (Multimedia for Kids), or do you look for more cerebral classes that emphasis the principles of art? We have several instructors planning and naming classes according to their personal philosophies, and we are often completely surprised by the classes that fill up vs. the classes that have too little registration to run.<br><br>
Granted, everything fills in the summer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ... but as an instructor myself, i'd love to hear what you hope to find in an art class (and what keeps you coming back!) so that I can better tailor my own classes to the needs of both parents and children.<br><br>
Thanks for your input!
 

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Hi there, i'm a fellow art teacher, but in alternative settings...afterschool, summer creative art centers. Even at my summer program, where kids get to pick their own electives without parent input, there are some classes that are overbooked and others sound like they would be a hit but barely get enough kids. Clay, paper mache and papermking have always filled for me. I've found that themes intermingled with the mediums you want to work in really get kids attention. My baby is only a month but I know as a parent I'lld want him to get a combination of exposure to new materials and methods, a little intro. to art principles and history but mostly the freedom for the child to explore and create in his own interests. I guess I would like someone to get him started, give guidance as needed but really allow him to flourish....Since easy acess to materials would be something he would always have at home, a class Iwould be paying for would have to offer something we didn't have egular access to or that was not my specialty, such as clay fired in a kiln.
 

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I always look for process over product.<br><br>
It just blows me away when a teacher/storytime leader/etc. tells the kids that they will be doing art and then completely perscribes how the "art" is supposed to look. My dd has broken down in tears beause the teacher won't "let her do real art." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
"First take this piece and glue this piece on right here. Then color the entire thing in green. Now put two eyes here."<br><br>
Isn't that a class in following directions?<br><br>
It makes me sad when you walk into a classroom and all of the kids art looks the same. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br><br><br>
In my dd's kindergarten the children have been studying various atrists and then have been given supplies that the artist used in their work. What the art looks like in the end isn't perscribed. Yet the children are exposed to various mediums and techniques. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Well, what I look for is ART! Sounds funny, I know, but a good friend of mine is averse to singing in public (so she doesn't sign up her babe for Music Together, etc). She really wants to do other types of classes with him, and they just started a Mommy and Me art class. She was really bummed out, though, because they spent the last 15 minutes of class in "circle time" clapping and singing. How is that art?
 

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IamCoupongirl, singing is art, too, just another way of expressing yourself. Music can be used as a source of relaxation or centering, which then leads to a more artistic frame of mind. Sorry your friend does not feel that way; it does not work for everyone.<br><br>
I agree with process over product. Minimal instructrion- just enough to know how to use tools, but allow students to develop their own content. Starting the work with a story, skit, poem, or a song to give inspiration or ideas for content. It is not art if all the students did the exact same thing. There are so many great books for kids about artists, and seeing a variety of artwork (both from art history and student work) on the walls helps encourage an urge to create. Avoid cliches and teach other cultures' art repectfully. Try not to introduce to many concepts or skills; instead focus on one or two. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much for replying!<br><br>
At the arts center where I work there has been a change over the past few years from process-oriented to project-oriented, with lots of "make it and take it" craft classes offered instead of aesthetic theory and creativity-based art fundamentals. I try to teach some of each-- because sometimes you can get a crafty kid hooked on "real" art by tweaking the projects a bit. In my most recent class, the description was written in a way that could lean towards either end of the scale, and I had to plan classes and buy supplies depending on process or project.<br><br>
I decided to try process for a while... and I must admit it was refreshing to buy charcoals and pastels instead of googly eyes and pipe cleaners! I wrote up a hand-out for parents explaining that class would be process based, instead of goal oriented, and that all artwork would come home in a "portfolio" at the end of class. I also wanted to let the parents know that I was pregnant and in that 4-6 month rapidly expanding stage, so that they would be prepared for their children to ask why the teacher kept getting further and further from the table. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
My first class (ages 6 - 9) went well yesterday, the kids had fun... so here's to hoping that my younger class (5-7) today goes just as well.<br><br>
Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>averysmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I always look for process over product.</div>
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I used this very phrase not two hours ago when talking about the art class where my son made his Daddy's Father's Day card. The teacher actually drew on each child's card to show him/her how to make proper stars. I'm cutting the section with her stars off before we give the card tomorrow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
I notice lots of moms/care givers doing the arts and crafts for their kids when we're at the library or other places where a project is part of the lesson. Sure, the little construction paper jeep comes out looking a hell of a lot better with the wheels cut out perfectly and actually placed two to a side. But who's project is it, anyway? All the kid learned is <i>I can't do it</i>. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Heffernhyphen</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The teacher actually drew on each child's card to show him/her how to make proper stars. I'm cutting the section with her stars off before we give the card tomorrow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed"> I'm sorry your son's teacher ruined the card he made for his Daddy. Good on you for cutting the offending section out!<br>
That peeves me to hear someone teaching children how to draw "properly".<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Heffernhyphen</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I notice lots of moms/care givers doing the arts and crafts for their kids when we're at the library or other places where a project is part of the lesson. Sure, the little construction paper jeep comes out looking a hell of a lot better with the wheels cut out perfectly and actually placed two to a side. But who's project is it, anyway? All the kid learned is <i>I can't do it</i>. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Oh, Susan, I feel exactly the same way!<br>
I'd prefer a lopsided purple jeep with the doors stuck to the roof anytime! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I agree-- I am one of the few art instructors I know who NEVER touches a child's work. I don't grab the paintbrush, pencil or scissors from their hands, nor do I tell them they are doing something "wrong". I also run a youth apprenticeship program, in which teens are paired with experienced art instructors and help out with class... and I have to constantly get onto the apprentices for "helping" the children by painting on their projects for them. The main message should be, "I CAN do it! And what I do is great and unique!".... not, "Only grown-ups can do it well, and mine isn't worthwhile". Ugh.<br><br>
This is definitely one of my pet peeves. One of the most popular instructors here "finishes" projects for the kids, adding outlines and clarifying eyes and adding "touches" while the kids are outside at snack. And then the moms are soooo impressed by what their kids have "accomplished", and they never find out about the special "help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: So annoying.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>magpiedee</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is definitely one of my pet peeves. One of the most popular instructors here "finishes" projects for the kids, adding outlines and clarifying eyes and adding "touches" while the kids are outside at snack. And then the moms are soooo impressed by what their kids have "accomplished", and they never find out about the special "help. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: So annoying.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> That's really ridiculous.<br><br>
Just Monday at art, the kids were informed "Today we're making rainbows!" and the teacher actually handed out paper with arches already penciled on it and the colours labelled in each space <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:.<br>
DC (who is 2) promptly turned the paper over (lmao) and started glopping wide orange paint strokes across the page. As the teacher came around I asked for more orange and red paint, and she pointed out that dc had all the other colours of the rainbow. I said "I don't mind an orange rainbow", so she said sugar-sweetly to my dc "Why don't you try some blue or some green?" with that condescending voice other adults seem to use with kids. My dc said grinning "Ummm, I have an idea (holding a finger up)! More red please!" I could have died laughing! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
It just peeves me when my dc is "led" to do anything, as we let dc make any choices that are within a toddlers scope (choosing clothes to buy/wear, choosing what to eat from the options presented, and what activities dc might like to do at any particular time).<br>
It's amusing to see the other parents in art class ignoring their child's work because they're too busy doing their own, and frustrating to see a parent actually take over their child's project or direct them.<br>
I knew we were "different" the first session when dc decided that handprints were in order, and liberally applied the colours to palms then stamped them all over the paper. The teacher gasped "oh no!" and the other parents immediately started defusing any option of their own children trying similar techniques (despite us all wearing smocks and having a sink to wash up in the same room).<br>
DC also likes to do multi-media projects when in the mood, and has been told that "We're using crayons now" when wanting to try glueing things or adding effects drawn with markers or paints. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
I feel frustrated for dc, because at home we have everything set out on dc's own table for use any time dc feels inspired to make some art.<br>
I wish we could find an art teacher like you magpiedee! Sounds like the entire class would have a blast seeing where a session took them!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>magpiedee</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One of the most popular instructors here "finishes" projects for the kids.</div>
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Man, I wish I had that instructor for algebra! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dace101</strong></div>
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"Today we're making rainbows!" and the teacher actually handed out paper with arches already penciled on it and the colours labelled in each space</div>
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I am NOT making this up! The "art" (?) teacher at the school where I taught <b>Kindergarten</b> once actually, I kid you not, handed out dittos of a circle and told them to color it red. It was a part of her series of multi-cultural lessons. You guessed it: the flag of Japan. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed">
 

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I'm looking for an art class that teaches ART, not crafts. I can teach my daughters to string beads and knit, but I want an art instructor who has experience in hands-on teaching young children the principles of drawing, pottery, paint, etc... 2
 
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