Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Middle School Art Class

Middle school is tough.  It's tough for kids.  It's tough for teachers and it's tough for subs.  Middle schoolers don't want to do what a teacher tells them; no matter what it happens to be. 

I subbed in an art class.  I like to sub in electives, because they are classes that the students chose.  So the idea is that they would be at least okay with being there, right? 

The teacher gave me packets of drawings, with instructions.  The kids could choose any one, or more, of the 20 choices and then add their own enhancements, color and creativity.  A super easy assignment.  So why did I hear so much whining and complaining?  It was like I was asking them to recreate the Mona Lisa, instead of drawing a cartoon duck.

The drawings were a range from super simple to pretty difficult.  Only a few students, throughout the day, chose to challenge themselves with the difficult drawings.  Many of the drawings looked suspiciously the same size as the examples. Others just turned in a blank page.  Few had color or creativity in any way.

I chose one of the more difficult drawings and worked on it a few minutes at a time during the day.  In one of the later periods a student looked at my drawing and was amazed.  "Wow Ms. D.  That is so cool.  You are a really good artist. I bet you were super popular in High School."

I tried very hard not to laugh out loud.  First of all, I was a terrible artist in High School.  I was NOT popular.  Art skills have NOTHING to do with popularity in high school, at least not in my high school. 



  1. Did you ask them if they had taken the art class by choice or if they had been placed in the class because they hadn't chosen an elective? I used to think the same thing about art classes, but learned that many times students get placed there because they either didn't choose an elective or the one they wanted was full.

    But yeah, even when they want to be there... The attitude...

  2. Yes, as it turned out, most of the electives they wanted were full. They also don't have the number of electives that they used to, so it you aren't musical, you get to be an artist.