Tomorrow Teaching Will Begin

Tomorrow the new school year really begins for me. I've been at it for three weeks now but without students...just lots and lots of room prep, material ordering/organization, and lesson planning. Last week, the students were on campus but the first week at my school is devoted to community-building and assessments so there's no regular classes. Tomorrow all that changes. I'm about to get really busy.

This year, my primary focus will be teaching Art 1 to 35 high school students. I developed this class to satisfy a California high school graduation requirement and (hopefully) an entrance requirement for the California State University system. (The rather extensive and tedious paperwork for the latter is still pending but I'm told it has a good chance of making the cut.) This is a yearlong class that is actually paired/integrated with Spanish 1. My class has two components: Mondays and Tuesdays will be devoted to the first component, "Fundamentals of Sketching." The emphasis here will be on observational sketching (as opposed to formal, precision drawing) and our study will culminate in an urban sketching trip to Mexico next June. (Be forewarned: you're going to see a lot more sketching in this space since my personal policy is always to actually do anything I ask of my students before I ask them to do it.)

The second component of the class is called "Art of the Americas," a series of projects throughout the year that highlight the art & craft of ancient and contemporary cultures in Mexico, Central America, and South America. We'll be carving stamps and making monoprints, crafting paper mosaic masks, painting wall hangings, sculpting animals, sewing "grave" dolls, and constructing tin retablos. First up though, we'll be creating sugar skulls in cardboard relief. Those are my samples in the photo. (Thanks to Pink and Green Mama for the inspiration!) Again, you have lots of photos of all those projects to look forward too!

In the spring, I'll add teaching the art component of the annual Shakespeare/theater unit but one thing at a time. [insert deep breath here] The posting schedule here at Lost Coast Post may get a bit shaky as my brain is overtaken by the chaos of teaching but I'll do my best to keep up. It's going to take me a while to find my daily rhythm.