Smooth Operator

For my observation I sat in on a studio art class taught by Mrs. Haggland. I did my student teaching with Mrs. Haggland last year, and when I watch her now as a colleague, I am in awe of how smooth she makes teaching look. Her students respect her and it shows.

It was a work day for the class I sat in on. Before the final bell even rang, students were in her room collecting their pieces off the shelf to start working on (tonal line drawings). I really didn’t get to see her open with a new lesson because it was a work day. An effective management strategy I saw was when she walked around the room and checked in with each student to see how their piece was coming. Having that one on one with each student allows her to help those students who are stuck or push the students who are just not working on anything.

The students were pretty excited and were working all through class on this project, so I didn’t really see any transitions that Mrs. Haggland had to deal with. When the class was coming to an end (last 10 minutes), she got their attention and  instructed them to start cleaning up.

One thing I really appreciated was the students who were done cleaning up a little early were allowed to stand in the hall right outside of the classroom. Here they were able to spend the last couple minutes of class looking at art work that she had hung on boards from all her classes. It works out well that she has boards directly outside of her room, but I love the idea of having students do this rather than sitting idol for two minutes at their desk. It was fun hearing the students talk and reflect on the works they saw on the bulletin boards.

A strategy that I saw that I do apply to my classroom is walking around and individually checking in with students. This is something that is common in art, but I feel is so important in making sure that students are on track and doing what they should be.

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