Blog Post by Martin Burke
This year, the art teachers in Portsmouth VA were asked to write our two blog entries according to two specific categories; one relating to our art class and one relating to our personal artwork. Since I usually write my blogs in October, and since I, Â like a proper professional art instructor, Â teach to the pace of a curriculum guide, I was afraid to write about the same project that we did at this time last year! SO, what to do? Well, I decided to do something near the midpoint of the semester that most teachers do near the end of their semester. I did a class survey! It was a little daunting because you know how the saying goesâ€¦ â€œIf you donâ€™t want to know the answer, donâ€™t ask the question!â€ And yet, I certainly and totally embrace self improvement and growth in ANY endeavor I take onâ€¦ especially as a classroom instructor! Will I ever fully master the â€œArt of teaching Artâ€ to students? Nope. I suspect I will be learning everyday how to teach better until I hang up my smock. So here are the results of my survey. I asked three questions and students were instructed to submit their answers anonymously if they so desired. That way I was sure of getting down and dirty honest answers! I was shocked at some of the answers, disappointed in some of the others and yet pleased with some of the others but all in all I learned from them all. The questions were as follows:
#1 What has been the biggest challenge of being in this art class?
#2. What has been the biggest surprise about being in this art class?
#3. Would you take another art classâ€”Why or Why not?
60 kids were surveyed. In response to question 1, over 30% said that drawing contour line drawings was their biggest hurdle! This is totally valuable to me! I must find a way to make drawing contours from observation more attainable! Shhhh, donâ€™t tell my students but perhaps I will add more contour line warm up sketches throughout the year?!?!
In response to question 2, the most repeated answer was â€œQuizzes and Notesâ€. Exactly 20% gave this answer; or 1 out of very 5 studentsâ€¦ I must admit that this year more than ever before I am giving my students more â€œPre Quizzesâ€ to see what they remember from my lectures the day beforeâ€¦ The students may be grumbling but I am hoping that in the long run, my Exam grades will skyrocket!
Lastly, Question 3 yielded the most answers in the affirmative with 60% saying YES or MAYBE! Thatâ€™s an ego boost! So whatâ€™s the final take-away? Keep it up fellow art teachers. 2 out of 3 kids maybe kinda yes want to be in another art class! Oh wait, youâ€™re saying that was only MY class? Good pointâ€¦maybe you should do your own survey and post the results here! Go get â€˜em teachers!!!