Maria the intern here with more good experiences to share!
Wednesday's visit to Horizons for Youth was a success in my eyes. As mentioned in the earlier post, we worked on a printmaking project with first through third graders. I later found out how this is connected to the gallery. As the Education Program Director at DWG, Meghan reaches out to nonprofit organizations, like Horizons for Youth, to provide students with art education (not just 'gallery school'). When I look back to my elementary years, I can't say that I remember much at all from my art class. Students these days may not even be exposed to art because of the recent economic crisis. If educational funding gets cut, art or music seem to be the first to disappear. Therefore, I commend DWG for reaching out to the community in such a great way.
Anyway, about the class. At around 3:30PM, students began to slowly file in to the cafeteria (substituting as an 'art room'). As I walked around each table to make name tags for students, I noticed many of them were gloomy, quiet, and even irritated. Some just shook their heads when I asked for their name, while others said, "I don't want to do art," under their breath. It made me feel bad, especially since it was one of my first teaching experiences and none of these kids were even close to excited. Meghan explained a simplified version of printmaking. She took a soft, thin block, rolled paint onto it, and drew designs on the block using a wooden pick. She then placed paper on top and pressed down. Tada, a print! Eyes began to light up, mouths began to chatter about designs and patterns. The energy completely changed! The kids had a really good time creating prints at each station. Each station had a different color of paint - the young students could barely wait to get to the next table for the next color. Time quickly passed, leaving many students disappointed that they couldn't continue printmaking. After being in school the whole day, their disappointment faded when they realized it was time to go home.
This educational program made me realize a couple things about myself. As an incoming freshman at Columbia College, my future plans are to become a photography teacher and give students a creative escape when life throws crappy obstacles at them. I've never thought of myself teaching crafts to elementary students. In fact, I have always found little kids to be, let's say, quite challenging. Although I won't base my changed thoughts completely on this experience, it has definitely sparked ideas for potential opportunities. This experience mainly helped me realize that I do love to help, a whole bunch, in any way shape or form, which is obviously important for teaching. And even though my public speaking skills could use some work (as well as my patience), teaching seems like the right field for me.
I hope Meghan takes me along on another trip to Horizons!