Sunday, June 8, 2014

Art Club and Art Council

Every year I have had terrific luck with my 5th Grade Art Club.  As a teacher I often wonder how I can push the envelope and switch things up, experimenting with a school wide Art Club vs. a 3rd-5th Grade Art Club or sticking with my system that has worked so far.. you get the idea. 

Then:  Back in 2012-13 the Art Club was stellar, we raised supplies for our first ever Presents For Paws drive, and we had mentors from the nearby high school's Art Club. Once a month the high school mentors would come visit our Art Club and bring a special project to work on as a group.  This was a treasured and special time for all ages, even for the teachers/club sponsors, as you could see the kids learning and making connections with someone who wasn't their typical art teacher. 

Now:  This school year, 2013-14 also had a fabulous 5th Grade Art Club, the 2nd annual Presents For Paws drive was a booming success, and while our numbers were too big to have our high school mentors join us.. I had another idea.  This year I decided to have a Fall 5th Grade Art Club and a Spring 4th Grade Art Club.  Knowing that this would come as a brutal shock to my 5th graders, I gave them a chance to become a helper aka. Art Club All-Star with the 4th grade club.  

To be in consideration for the All-Star position, each interested student had to write me a paragraph or two explaining why they were interested in the position and what skills they thought they would bring to the job.  Y'all. I was blown away with all 15 of the letters that I received.. so blown away that I could not bear to just choose two All-Stars. The fifteen Art Club members who took the time to write their hearts out, became the founding members of my first ever Art Council.  (FYI: For you logistical folks, Art Club meets from 7:30-8:15 every Wednesday AM and Art Council meets from 7:30-8:15 every Thursday AM.)  

These Art Council students were/are my right hand and creative directors. We talked about art and how to make our school more colorful.  We exchanged ideas, weighed options and methods of execution, I stated my expectations and they literally ran with that.  There was never a project too large or too small when it came to making our school a more beautiful place. There is not enough space or enough photos to post to express how much they inspired/inspire me. 

Future:  We will see what next year holds as far as my Art Club.  Depending on our school numbers, I would love to bring back the high school mentors.  With that being said, I may also keep the Fall 5th Grade Art Club and Spring 4th Grade Art Club.  And another Art Council, you may wonder?  The founding members have a special place in my heart, so time will tell! 

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