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Date Created: 12/20/15
How To Successfully Teach Art And Architectural Drafting To Inner City High Schools Students How to successfully teach Art and Architectural Drafting to Inner City High Schools Students In Fine Art I teach Landscape Painting, Water Colors, and Pen & Ink Drawing. In Architectural Drafting I teach Working Drawings, Technical Illustrations, and Architectural Renderings. It has been both an honor and blessing to have the opportunity to teach art to students at inner city schools. For the past three years I have taught Fine Art and Architectural Drafting at Lane Tech College Prep and King College Prep High Schools, part of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), in Chicago, Illinois. The ethnic make up for Lane Tech (all figures are approximate) is in the range of 40% White, 40% Hispanic, 10% Asian, and 10% Black and other ethnic backgrounds. The figures for King College Prep is 90% Black, 5% Asian, and 5% other ethnic backgrounds. The first question that has been posed to me is the following: How do you adjust the lesson plans for the students at each school? My response is that I adjust my curricula for each class according to its needs. When you are dealing with High School students you are working with a complex group of young adults. Not only are the students different in their ethnic background they are also different because they are being merged into a large and complex social system that has tremendous impact on each one of them both personally and academically. There are three things that have to be done to teach effectively. 1. First and foremost get to know your students. Take the time to become acquainted with them and more importantly as you listen to them listen for what is being said "between the lines". The students will tell you what they want you to know, however, there is much that you can and need to learn about them that is not clearly brought to you by them. Often times students have many pressing needs that they want to share with you but lack the security to bring these things out. Let them know that you are there for support and guidance. It should be noted that you can never under any circumstances be their "friend". Your relationship to the students must always to be proper, polite, and respectful never intimate or inappropriate. You will fine that showing love, care, and respect to your students will come back to you ten-fold. If you have their respect you have everything. 2. Second, become familiar with the students parents or guardian. I have made it a policy to call the parents of each of my students the first week of school. I cannot over state how important that this action is. With it comes a bridge of understanding that deepens as time passes. You will find that your greatest advocate and support comes from your student's parents. Do not be afraid to call them they want to hear from you. Most of the time they are stunned that a teach will call them! It is a pleasant surprise. This takes a lot of time but it is worth it. 3. Write plans that are modular and flexible. This is imperative in today's classroom. What I mean by modular is this: Have a clear objective in mind from the outset as to what you are going to teach as well as what the student are going to learn! This is where most teachers fail. Take into account the propensity of your students. If you do that you have the key to successful teaching and the joy of watching students advance both academically and socially. Be sure to have many variations on your lesson plan modules so that you can dove tale it to the need of a student with a special need. If you plan modules into your lessons you will find it very easy to teach to the student and to keep track of their progress. The three points that I have listed above are what I have stated as the three most essential things that need to be done to teach affectively. This is not to say that this is all that is to be done. Certainly you need to know your subject matter, get along with your colleagues and administrators as well as work with members from the community. The rewards are rich when you but in the time and focus on the above mention points. In my case I am a teacher of Art and Architectural Drafting two very different disciplines. Art synthesizes many subjects and brings them together. Architectural Drafting does this to a point; however, it is more analytical seeking to break things down before putting together. When I start to teach the students drawing the first thing that I tell them to do is draw bad pictures from the objects I have put before them. In fact I tell them that I take off points if you do good work! Why? Because the students need to put aside all their preconceptions of what to create and instead develop a relationship with the paper and pencil, good drawings will come in time. Stephen F. Condren afroromance
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