There are 3 reasons why:
- I am not paid for work done outside of the classroom
- I have a life outside the classroom
- It is important for my sanity to leave work at work.
The "HOW" is what I hope to share with you in this post.
The 4 easy "hows" are:
- I often arrive early to prep my room and lessons.
- I use my "free time" to work, sometimes even through lunch.
- When things are quiet, I am planning for the next day/week.
- I have begun to video tutorials to make presentations easier and more consistent.
The only negative is that I spend VERY little time socializing with colleagues in school. I meet with other members of my department, but, in general, it is about the business of teaching and coordinating lessons or resources. I socialize more on Professional Development days, because they often have little to do with art and we're not allowed in our rooms.
However, the biggest difference is the way I handle transitions between projects. This method may not be helpful to those who teach art to a class once a week, but more helpful to those who see students daily for a quarter, semester, or year.
I end each project with a written assignment, sometimes a quiz, and a written critique. This gives students some independent time where I can meet them one at a time to grade, give feedback, and enter grades DURING class.
I begin each project with detailed notes, written motivations, and information/vocab for the next project. Again, most I do not need to be up front and presenting. This helps me finish grading, and getting materials together for the following project.
Planning and sketching helps focus student ideas, understand the direction they want to explore, and become familiar with the terms that we will be using. If I feel they are less than focused, I give them a pre-quiz to keep them on their toes. When I am ready, we review their notes, make corrections as a group or in pairs, and I show them concrete samples of the project we will begin.
Some might say that it is unnecessary paperwork, and I should be using that time for more hands-on work. But I have found significant benefits.
1. They need more writing exercises in school to improve those skills.
2. Planning means they are more focused and waste fewer supplies.
3. I am less stressed and overworked. When the day is done, I am done.
4. I know the writing improves their SAT scores (along with my STEAM approach) because they outscore their peers by an average of 150 points!
Here are some examples of my pre-planning pages and critiques. Many more can be found on my published resources HERE.