I think the main reason for that is because I feel like I am struggling. This is my fifth year teaching, but for three hours everyday I feel like its year one all over again. This time there is no supervising teacher to give me feedback or a department head to give me guidance. Its tough to reach out in the short time I am at the high school each day, and I've tried. After a whole half a year of "making it work" I'd like to know that its working.
I've been discouraged by the lack of enthusiasm from what feels like the majority of my 76 students. Its really hard to motivate 30 high school kids (in a room with 24 desks... that I can't re-arrange everyday into groups because its not my room) at the same time. Students are stooping to the lowest common denominator because they see what others can't/won't/aren't doing.
I also struggle with the cell phone issue and back talk. Music helps me focus, so I allow students to listen to music while working. However I am constantly policing, looking at screens when I should be meeting with students. That parts on me and with a new term there will be a firmer hand!
Its not all bad though.
My saving graces have been two groups of people: my co-workers and my Art Two students.
My co-workers at the high school who share the other art room (which is my co-homeroom, we still don't get how that worked out) have my back. At the beginning of the year, I asked millions of questions and they always helped. Not ordering ANY of the supplies for this year myself, they are always willing to show me where things are and share what they have. Most importantly, they listen and we talk. I suppose they know that I'm "making it work" and in some ways, I know they are struggling with the same things I am, they just have a couple more years of practice on me.
My Art Two students remind me everyday why I wanted to teach high school.
There are only sixteen students and they are totally a Breakfast Club kinda group. Each student is individual and its been shining through their work. And we're not even working on expressive stuff in class yet! The group as a whole is hard working and willing to grow with me. I am able to conference with each student and talk to them about their work on a real level.
I can't wait for us to finish up a unit of study we've been working on since November. Unfortunately I don't have picture yet, but its been a process! We took recycled materials and made objective or non objective sculptures. After spraying them white, we did color studies under lights and now students are working on canvas board color harmony acrylic paintings. The final step is to take the sculpture and paint that however they want.... I am hoping for some cool patterns, textures and graphic stuff, but we'll see.