Reflective Teaching Practices

Posted by jmh on October 23, 2011 in Reflective Practioner |

I am here to tell you that my teaching life was nothing short of incredible. It had it’s ups and downs and those challenges were just part of the learning curve required in anything you do in life. That first year of teaching was one with great anticipation for how students under my guidance would do great things. Shortly after the start, the reality hit and suddenly, I discovered that teaching was not the only thing expected of me. Students needed some discipline and motivation, principals needed reports, the counselors needed paperwork, parents needed to be informed of their child’s progress, managing time and materials was necessary, and it all seemed to happen at the same time. I don’t remember hearing anything about budgets or grading or duty when I was considering teaching as my life work. Eventually, I felt a little bit overwhelmed asking myself: how will I do all of this? Can I do all of this?
Finally, the WINTER holiday break came around giving me time to reflect on the first semester and some well deserved time for myself. Coming back I felt rejuvenated and with half the year under my belt, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. With a semester left, it was always a good time to look at what happened, stop and reflect to understand what worked and what didn’t work. At first I thought I had to work solo. Then suddenly I was enlightened to the support of other like minded individuals. So before you go through thirty years, let me offer some hard earned advice.
1. Remember to ask the teachers around you for their input. Look for teachers in your subject area and watch the activities in classrooms located around you. Some of my best advisers were English teachers who taught next door. If there was anything that I learned in my more than three decades of teaching was that you can never do it all alone. Well, you can but why should you? It is important to have administration, counselors, colleagues, students and parents and even businesses on your team.
2. Team up to get strategies and new ideas for your classes. Attend conferences and join professional groups. Join your state and national organization and any local professional groups in your area. It is always good to know that other people share in some of your concerns and can guide you to solutions. You can also feel rejuvenated with fresh new ideas. Two places to start are: Texas Art Education Association, and the National Art Education Association . Check on each of these sources to see if you too will enjoy the benefits of their association.
3. Look for outside resources and ask others how they do things. We are never too old to learn something new. Several web sites offer incredible amounts of information. They include; my sites ArtWork on the Web and My Virtual Art Room, and Cool Art Cards, and  two of my favorites; The Incredible Art Department, and Art Education 2.0
Speaking of learning something new, during the first edition of the Creative Juice News to Use newsletter which is the complimentary edition which supports all of the offerings including ebooks of the newly developed and always progressing web site. It is a resource for art educators and their students. Be sure and tell other art teachers about it and let me know what you would like to read about.

What subjects?

What Issues?

How can I help? Email me
The Teacher’s Almanac & The ArtTestPack:
180 pages provide assistance in maintaining an efficient and orderly classroom all year long. Favorite forms for organizing and managing classes include, the Clean-up Crew forms, Project Evaluation forms, Seating Charts, Things to Do form, blank six week planning calendars and much more. This deluxe teacher’s edition begins with an introduction entitled “Why Study Art,” to Art Class Rules, with suggested outlines for each level of art. The ArtTestPack is NEW offering concept terminology, history, procedures, project ideas, worksheets and exercises. Tests with test keys are included reinforcing your students’ understanding of the material presented.

So— What’s in it for Me?

When I first started self publishing, I did so because I needed handouts and step by step procedures in all the media that we used in our school ( at the time we had no curriculum). Icould not find what I wanted so I spent ten years putting it into word processed files on my computer. I found that other teachers liked them
therefore I offered them to others in GBC bound books.Well— fast forward twenty more years and many successes later and these lessons have been re-formatted, re-worked with more lessons added. The material has so expanded it is in several volumes.

According to a survey taken at the Texas Art Education Association conference, many teachers wanted black and white pages so they can xerox them to be used in their classes. So the first offerings will be in black and white in an e-book format for immediate access and the ability to download the files any time of the day or night.
The site will be two fold allowing visitors to look around and a membership portion of the sight that will eventually be like walking into a virtual art room. There will be file cabinets with lesson plans, a shelf to house samples of student art work, a place to view electronic presentations of student portfolios and projects. It will be like I am right there with you all year long to assist you with whatever you are teaching.

Several kinds of offerings will be made available through the site. E-classes and even Art Classes in a Box ( when I find a software developer to assist me). School districts can hire me to come and do an all day or a three day Art Work Book  bootcamp with tons of ideas being shared mixed with some hands-on art activities so you can relax while learning. Recently Ector County ISD and then Lamar CISD had me come down to do a three-four day ArtWorkBook Bootcamp customized to accommodate their needs. One of the enthusiastic participants, Becky Hayne, had this to say,

” I have never met anyone with so much information. I completed the workshop inspired instead of feeling drained as is usually the case.”
For details on how you can arrange a Staff Development with an Art-itude, visit the Art Work on the Web site or just email me at:

The ArtWorkBook Series Self published in 1990, several volumes of The ArtWorkBook Series SOLD out many times across the great state of Texas and across the nation. Available again in an e-book format for immediate access is Art Class Notes with 223 pages of art class assignments (over 150 lessons) in a one-two page format that can be used in the organization and presentation of art concepts and processes that are taught year after year. Projects are formatted to provide; objectives, tools and materials, time line, procedures, continuations and variations, terminology, motivational resources, & questioning strategies. Everything needed to present a clear concise lesson. Post Art Class Notes for future reference. New Printmaking
and Sculpture lessons are included. Let me know if anything needed or missing?

What moves men to genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has alreadybeen said ( or done) is still not enough.” Delacroix

Post to Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2009-2018 Artful Life All rights reserved.
Desk Mess Mirrored version 1.9 theme from

Social Widgets powered by

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline
Powered by WishList Member - Membership Site Software