Seeing the paint in blobs on my art palette, as mounds of potential, inspired me. My family participated in a relaxing evening of painting at our church. The leader, a graphic designer and artist, showed us the type of painting that we would emulate: a close up of a bike with a basket of flowers on it.
The canvases were placed on each white table after we picked up our styrofoam palates. Step by step, the art teacher gave clear directions on how to paint the background with white and blue to appear as sky. Next, she had us sketch with chalk an outline of a bicycle but just the handle bars and front wheel with a basket on the handlebars. After our initial preparations, she directed us to use a large brush to paint a color of our choice on top of our chalk outline. I selected bold red but almost chose dark pink. Once the brush touched the canvas, there was no turning back. I loved the contrast of the blue background and robust red then we continued to sketch a basket on the handlebars. I painted a light brown basket then added white and dark brown lines to give it a woven basket look.
As the next hour unfolded, we added black and white outlines to the bike wheel, painted multi colored flowers in the basket and began to see our masterpieces come together. Each person worked at their own pace as the teacher facilitated by modeling each step. She praised our effort and complimented each painter with specific comments like “What a great blue flower!” Or “I love your basket!”. We knew that our paintings needed our signature so each artist signed their pieces and pictures were made of our masterpieces.
As the school year comes to a close, I am struck by the similarities of painting a personal masterpiece and my creating and facilitating lessons to help my students develop into better digital storytellers as well as confident communicators, collaborators, critical thinkers and creators.
When the year begins, each teacher sees their units of study but by the end of each day and each unit, they have added more to each masterpiece, their students. By year’s end, they have offered the tools and encouragement for each child to develop into a learner with more strategies and fluency than they had before the year started. It truly is an amazing journey to use the teaching tools that I know to promote deeper understanding and application of concepts. I am not an art teacher, but as a Technology Teacher, I guide students to become better at using digital tools to enhance proper communication and digital citizenship. It is quite amazing to see children progress and continue to develop as learners and to see their mind masterpieces!
It has been an amazing 25 years for me as a public school teacher in North Carolina. I know that I have not reached the end of my teaching career. In fact, I feel as if I am just getting started with promoting STREAM projects. I know though, that it is time to clean out and set Goals for the future. It is fitting to look at this school year as another masterpiece. I have included a picture of my finished painting masterpiece and a video with highlights from this school year!