I was watching a photographer talk about her business and she said something very interesting. She said that there was NOTHING creative about being a portrait and family photographer. She said to be efficient and successful (and of course make money) that you couldn't reinvent the wheel every time someone stepped into your studio. You needed to find your formulas that work and repeat them. Hmmm this is a very interesting idea, you find a formula that works and you stick to it!
This made me start to think about what I do for a living, teach art. For some reason in every other field besides fine art (even photography) efficiency is a virtue, but art teachers seem to think producing new and unique lessons is more important then efficiency. As I near my 8th year of teaching (I can't believe I'm saying that!) I'm starting to have a repertoire of lessons that work. Each year, of course, I don't repeat lessons that weren't a universal success, but for much of the year I repeat and build on old themes, filling in the gaps with new lessons that I create from scratch.
Here are some reasons why I think it is a smart to repeat lessons.
1. You've practiced. We all know we become better teachers with practice, so why wouldn't lesson delivery be the same? Luckily as art teachers we get to practice the same lesson multiple times in a year, so by year two you should be a pro.
2. You have the resources. Why waste all the money and time it took to collect the resources (prints, handouts videos, books etc) to use with the lesson? Use them again, again, and then go sell them on one of those teacher websites;) Not to mention you've done all the research and can build on that!
3. It's not about YOUR CREATIVITY it's about THEIR CREATIVITY. When we stop thinking about the art program as "our" art program and start thinking about it as "their" art program we can get past having to think up new clever lessons to adorn our hallways. As long as the lesson allows for personal creativity, you will enjoy teaching it again and again as the results will be different from year to year. I know for some their job is their creative space, but what if you started to think of it as the children's creative space and used the extra time you save to create some of your own art work?
So what's the best way to save all these lessons and resources? FILE THEM BY MONTH! I have a file cabinet drawer for each month (haven't bothered to separate by grade yet.) This way you will always find what you are looking for, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO TOMORROW? You will be a confident and prepared teacher because you've made the decision not to reinvent the wheel.
|More time to spend with this goof ball!|
More time to work on my own film and photography goals.