Author: dwwalker3

Blog 7 – CM plan excerpts

In art education students can be self-directed creators, executing vision and developing voice, while gaining a fuller understanding of the visual nature of the world and becoming empowered through expressing their skills, their emotion, and their ideas. It can be a place where student become connected to their community, and a space where parents can become involved in the creative process. Art education can be liberating, it can be a place where students access new ways of thinking and seeing and a time when students can escape from stresses within education and their own lives. None of these things are possible without comprehensive classroom management.
Roskos and Neuman (2011) state that setting up and designing a classroom environment is “is both an art and a science. It involves configuring the best spaces for promoting student learning’ (110). Within my art classroom, these learning spaces will be flexible, where students can work on individual projects, be able to discuss work and collaborate with students around them, and also be able to see presentations and visual instruction. The classroom layout should “accommodate multiple configurations for large and small groups, for triads, pairs, and individuals’ (Roskos, 2011, 111)
Responsibility and self-direction is crucial when it comes to discipline in the classroom. An approach recommended by Marshall (2005) I plan on using in my classroom is having students develop procedures to redirect irresponsible impulses (51). Emotions have been found to have an effect on student’s learning and on the “instructional behavior’ of teachers (Han, 2012, 78). Emotional intelligence has been “discussed as one of the important intelligences and competencies to promote and regulate personal intellectual growth and social relational growth’ (Han, 2012, 78). The definitions of emotional intelligence are varied, but it is categorized as a “set of abilities which involves operating emotional information that represent emotional signals’ (Han, 2012, 78).
Marzano (2005) recommends these strategies for procedures that communicate order and learning:
– Beginning with a balance of learning and “administrivia’
– Establishing shared activities that reinforce class unity
– Ending with activities that reinforce learning and discipline (15)
Kostewicz states that teachers need to consider rules not as an element of control but as a way to contribute to a classroom environment (2008, 14). I plan on using rules and policies in my classroom in this way, where students’ focus is not on following rules, but on making sure that they are helping create a positive classroom environment where everyone is supported in making art. I plan on having three major policies within the art classroom: 1. Respect others and their artwork, 2. Respect materials and supplies in the art room, and 3. Be respectful in the art you make.
Students feel motivated when: “They feel some sense of autonomy or control, they feel connected to the class and the school, and they feel as if they possess the skills necessary to meet the challenges of school.’ (Daniels, 2010, 25) Rewards and punishments have driven teaching practices now for over a century, and research has shown that rewards and punishments are effective in controlling student’s immediate classroom behavior (Daniels, 2010, 29). Current researchers and teachers, such as Daniels, are finding that rewards and punishments do not “foster an intrinsic, long-term desire to learn, behave, and achieve’ (2010, 29).
Students with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and cognitive disabilities make up around 9% of the school population and are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, conduct problems, and drop out of school (Murray, 2007, 106). It’s been found that students with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, and cognitive disabilities who “had more positive relationships with teachers had lower levels of delinquency’ (Murray, 2007, 107).Previous research has “consistently found a relationship between student race and discipline’ (Rocque, 2010). In many American high schools the “disproportionate suspension of Black students remains a problem’ (Gregory, 2011, 929). One study found that when teachers single out a single disruptive act for punishment, this punishment “disproportionately affects students whose race and gender distance themselves from their teachers’ (Brown, 2007, 36).
Communication with Parents/Guardians
I plan on contacting parents early on about non-discipline related topics in order to build up a positive relationship, so that resolving and working through student issues is easier and more effective. I want to include parents within the art room as volunteers, and as guest instructors, in order to bring their own artistic skills into the classroom. I plan on starting up and maintaining a blog for the art classes, where student work will be documented and parents can view the work
Cultural and Community Resources
Students could go on field trips to go see art made from different cultures and community members. In Juneau we have the city and state museums, and the recently built Walter Soboleff center, where a students can view and learn about a variety of Native Alaskan art and history. We also have a variety of different art galleries, from the Canvas, to the Alaskan Robotics Gallery. Artists from the community can also be brought in to share art, or to teach students about the kind of art making they practice. Alaska has a rich history of art and there is a diverse, talented, and large community of artists living in this state, which can greatly benefit an art classroom.

Blog 5

A observed strategy for opening a lesson is that if anyone shows up late, even the second after the bell rings, they have to walk all the way to the office, and get an attendance slip from the office. While this means that people may miss the first minutes of instruction, it is meant to encourage kids to get to class on time.

An observed strategy applied during a lesson was started at the beginning of the year to give out three passes, if a student needs to go to the bathroom, they have to give Ridgway a pass. This is meant for students to take care of things before they come to her class. Today a student ran out of passes, and Ridgway had the student write her an IOU that was meant to be for some kind of chore or duty within the ceramics room to be completed at a later date.

There is often a lot of work that needs to be done before the end of the ceramics class, and Ridgway has a detailed lesson closure strategy. There are six tables in the ceramics room and Ridgway divided up all of the clean up tasks into six parts, Laundry/Floors & Slab Roller, Counters, Pugmill & Extruder, Tools, Sinks, Recycle Systems & Demo Station. Each table does a different task each day of the week, based off of a sheet that details these tasks, which clips of each students name are moved depending on what day it is. If students do not finish their tasks, Ridgway will leave a post-it note on their spot on the sheet.

A transition between lecture and working on art is when Ridgway polled students if they had completed a side project and when only a few students had even started, she decided to make the project extra credit, which then transitioned into the students working on another project.

Another in class transition was when we went to go look at the previous projects that had been hung up in the commons. Ridgway ended up cutting a project short in order to have enough time for students to critique the work. Ridgway also provided cookies in order to celebrate the student’s work and ease the transition.

The start of the digital art class Ridgway has students start off on the mat, not on the computers for lecture. This is so that students will not be tempted to be on the computers while she is talking, and they can look at and observe students work.

The way Ridgway has set up her ceramics classroom is very well set up, there’s a lot of projects going on and a lot of tasks that need to be completed, especially in regards to clean up. There’s a lot of those strategies that I would use in a ceramics classroom.

Blog Post 6 parts 1&2

Being present in a classroom and as a teacher is something that I’ve found to be incredibly important for classroom management. Being able to connect to and spend time with every one of your students in your classes leads to motivated and on task students. Clearly communicating expectations and rules is also important as well as providing clear instruction. I’ve found that most students that are off task in an art class are confused about what they need to be doing, or doubt their own artistic ability or skills. Finding a way for students to connect to the art project they are working on can be challenging, especially in a large class, but when I see students find something that inspires them, that’s when they are the most focused on creating work.
Navigating distractions and disruptions is also an important part of classroom management and creating strategies with students is something I’ve seen my mentor teacher do with great success. Creating procedures to help with the transitions in class is also essential to deal with the high volume of artwork and materials that are part of an art classroom. Finding ways to empower students and support them while they create is still the most effective way to support a positive classroom environment and motivate students that I have found.

Response to the article and the study Whatever Happened to the “Cool’ Kids?

I want to echo some of the points already mentioned by some of my classmates, that there is many factors that determine whether someone is successful later in life. “Coolness’ or pseudomature behavior may have some small part in this, but nowhere near the economic background of the child, whether or not a child has disabilities, or even the gender or race of a student.

The study found this among the small sample of 184 students, that “early pseudomature behavior also predicted higher adult levels of more serious criminal behavior, alcohol and drug use, and problems associated with such use.’

This does not address what other studies have found:
“African-American students, for instance, are 3.5 times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled, according to a nationwide study by the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. Black children constitute 18 percent of students, but they account for 46 percent of those suspended more than once.
For students with disabilities, the numbers are equally troubling. One report found that while 8.6 percent of public school children have been identified as having disabilities that affect their ability to learn, these students make up 32 percent of youth in juvenile detention centers.’

The issues with these kinds of studies is they usually have a small study group, that they focus on one community, and that they are trying to address issues that are difficult to get hard data on. Relying on surveying adolescents is not the most accurate way to get information. There are so many other factors within this community, school, or within the students that could have made a major impact on the results. This is an issue not just with this study, but with any study that uses similar methods within researching education.

I don’t mean to dismiss the study of pseudomaturity all together, just that we should hesitate before we make broad statements on what will make someone successful or not. The study itself admits that we need to find the intervening mechanisms by which it leads to long-term problematic continuities. And, as the study calls out for in the end, it would be interesting to find out how and why pseudomature behavior develops, and what outside factors influence it.

Teacher Student Relationships

This is a link to a youtube video titled “The Art of Happiness Through Positive Education” it explores an Australian school that was set up to focus on positive support and emotions for it’s students. It’s an interesting look at a very directed approach towards student teacher relationships.

This is an article about working with stubborn students in art education, it has some great tips and advice on how to help support and motivate students in the art classroom. It focuses on how teachers can help students by being empathetic toward them in an art classroom.

This is a blog dedicated to managing the art classroom, it has a lot of information available on how to build meaningful relations with students in art. I’ve linked to an article on the blog about student motivation in art education.

Suicide on Campus

Mental Health in post secondary school is something that I have been researching and studying before I applied for the MAT program. I’ve written about it on my website: You can find the sources of the following information there. Studies have shown that around 12% of students experience suicidal ideation while in college. Other studies have found that only “a small percentage of people who experience psychological distress seek professional psychological help.” On a report of students living with mental conditions 73% of students reported that they had a mental health crisis in college and for 35% of those students, their college did not know about it.

Mental health in college and in secondary schools is a complicated, difficult to talk about issue. I hope to be able to continue my research and writing about it because I believe that many of our current assessment structures, namely grades, negatively effect students with mental health. I believe there there is a serious lack of training for college professors on how to support students with mental health issues. I think in our culture there is a lack of understanding mental health issues.

In the essay, I go over my own mental health problems. This is not the only reason that I was driven to research and write about this issue. Someone that was very close to me was suicidal for a period of time when I was going to college. I missed classes to support them, as they were having difficulty in finding that support from their parents and from the college counselor, as the one college counselor we had was booked for weeks. I told teachers about my situation. Some believed me. Some thought I was making it up to get out of class and one threatened to fail me.

It took administrators to come in to resolve this issue. And I’m grateful for that. But the larger issue is the lack of support structures for students dealing with this issue in college. There is no excuse for not providing help and resources for students dealing with mental health crises.

Classroom Rules

In the charter school classes that I teach we have four main rules that all revolve around respect. Respect is also something that the other charter schools teachers use in their rules and procedures and I’ve been focusing on it in my art classroom in these four ways.

Respect Others and Their Artwork

Respect Yourself and Your Own Artwork

Respect Materials

Be Safe in the Classroom

In an art classroom students need to be safe with the materials and respect the materials that they are given, which is important when just drawing with pencils, or painting with acrylics. Students also have to be able to feel safe and secure in the art classroom, especially when they are creating work. Teaching students not to put down someones work, or devalue it when every student is in the learning process is so important. What’s challenging is that students will often do this to themselves more than any other student. I recently found an old notebook in my art classroom where on one of the pages had written “I am bad at art” over and over and over again. Developing the kind of environment where students don’t have to worry about whether they are bad at art is essential, and having the language and the expectations that are in an art classroom to reference during times where the students are not being respectful and safe is key. When I brought respect up in the classroom, I had students help create the rules for the class, as many of them know what respect looks like in the classroom.

This is a interesting blog post where an art teacher goes over some expectations for an art class:

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Dawson Walker Intro


I am working towards my teaching certificate and Master’s in Secondary Education, in Juneau Alaska. I graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) with a major in comic art in the Spring of 2014. MCAD is one of the few schools in the country with a dedicated comic program, and by comics I mean graphic novels, comic strips, comic books.. etc. I’ve done some work for Vertigo, the kid’s magazine Cicada, and Minnesota Public Radio and have been lucky enough to travel all over the country and into Canada for comic events. I’m interested in bringing comics into the classroom and also bringing in some of the ideas within comics that I believe are sometimes overlooked or undervalued in art classes.

I currently student teach at Juneau Douglas High School, where I graduated from in 2010, and am also the main art teacher for the local charter school. I’m currently instructing kids from 4th & 5th grade, 6th to 9th grade, and 9th to 12th grade and I am eager to learn more about classroom management. I’ve very quickly learned the value of reaching out and talking to a variety to different teachers to learn their techniques and tools for classroom management. There is quite a bit of overlap within the variety of classes I’ve been teaching, but each class definitely has it’s own personality.

I also teach and perform improvisational theater.