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Glittery Life

abenjamin's picture

Fieldnotes 2/8/13

On Fridays I work with a 2hr long class with 4-6 year olds. Usually, the weekly projects correspond to modern artists, but this week they worked with the Valentine's Day theme. There are 9 students in the class (8 girls and 1 boy), in the full age range. 


During this class, something that stood out to me was Ms. A's helping the kids with many of their projects.

Cut-out hearts: fold square paper, draw half of heart, cut out along line. Some kids needed/wanted more help with this process than others. Ms. A would fold and draw for many of them, I was trying to show them how to do it by example, then see if they could do it on their own. Maybe this was a little too challenging?

Much of my experience has been with slightly older children and/or in more "educational" environments (schools and a museum that was all about educating children through creative projects). But should this placement (an art center) not be as challenging as a school? It's always still a learning experience. Also, because I am working with younger children (4-6), where is the line between encouraging challenging learning experiences and helping out with things that might be too advanced for a certain age group? Especially for young childred, there are certain developmental ages that really dictate what a child is capable of doing (i.e. scissors with the 2 yr olds).

Maybe I should read up on these stages...any suggestions?

AmbrosiaJ's picture

Freire Response

"Those truly committed to liberation must reject the banking concept in its entirety, adopting instead a concept of women and men as conscious beings, and consciousness as consciousness intent upon the world." 

I feel this quote holds true to the idea of eradicating the banking system. I feel that the banking system is only a positive thing for certain subjects and certain learning methods- ONLY if this is followed by students using their critical thinking skills to ensure their full understanding of the material taught. Not so much for younger students, but for older students I think it's really important that teachers don't always see themselves as the authoritative figure who "knows it all". Classes are much more successful, efficient, and worthwhile when the teachers see the students as equals, when they understand that though students may be younger they still have thoughts and ideas that are relevant and intelligent.

"The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsiblle for a process in which all grow."

abenjamin's picture

Fieldnotes Post #1

Once a week I work at an art school in Philadelphia. I monitor a 3hr long Open Studio Figure Drawing class for Adults. Every week there is a model who poses while the students draw.

3rd session of this class


6 students

male model, looks around room, assessing his options, undresses

(drawing/sketch of model stand with black table/desk sitting on model stand)

The first student that arrived, I asked him his opinion about the high black table/desk on the model stand

I'm struggingl with what my role is in the class. What is my role as a monitor?

I am not the class instructor. When students ask, or talk to me about their art, I am eager to give advice, feedback, encouragement. But I try my best to sit back and not interfere. They signed up for a class with no instructor so I don't try to be an instructor. But its very hard not to teach. I want to teach. I try my best to let them dictate the structure of the class, the poses, the few things that I do have some control over.

Model today asked whether we should keep the black table on the stand, I had already spoken to one student about keeping it as an option/something new, different. I referred the question back to the students. (The table was already on the stand when I arrived that morning.)

10:07 - 10:27    4 5-minute poses

JBacchus's picture

Special Ed Kindergarten Class



New student visiting! Potential student for next year


Tours with mother than leaves even though plan was for him to stay the morning through snacktime


Teacher said that he is 5 chronologically but “much younger mentally”


Left because he was nervous? Uncomfortable? All of the above?



M. says “he seems nice. I hope he stays” while playing at art table




Morning question: “How are you feeling today?” check marks under excited, tired, or happy




AmbrosiaJ's picture

Preschool, Expectations & Consequences


-All assistant teachers arrived on time.*

-Teacher was very exact about how class should be handled.*

-Not allowed to scold, punish, or correct in stern voice? Interesting...*

-Students begin to enter classroom with their parents. All students seem pretty happy until they see our new faces. Some students are more welcoming than others. Many stay away..

-As we begin the activity, students get more comfortable with new teachers. Some smiles!

-Circle Time is very hectic. Not much order, students jumping out of their seats, a lot of calling out, hard to make much progress. Are students learning much?*

-Snack time WAY more orderly than circle time- maybe students were hungry? 

Observations and Notes

transitfan's picture

field notes from climate justice teach-in

1/25/13: Part I: Before (written at 11:10AM)

Last night Students for a Livable Future had an almost-two-hour planning meeting over dinner for a 1.5 hour teach-in today during lunch at the dining center. (Wouldn't it be amazing if teachers could do that? Though on second thought, that degree of planning would probably prove tiresome and unnecessary for experienced educators.) We are calling our event a climate justice teach-in but really it is all about our campaign for Haverford to divest its endowment from fossil-fuel companies. (Is that misleading? Will people be upset? Or will no one come at all? We advertised quite heavily with posters hanging from trees, tons of Facebook posting, etc. I'm pretty nervous about it all right now.)

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