This is my second year in the Primary Arts Specialist teacher role and as I get settled into the school year, I’ve been finding it a lot more reassuring having experienced one full year teaching JK, SK, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3 and Grade 4 art.
Something that I’m finding challenging in my practice lately is fostering independence in my art learners. After giving instruction and asking students if they have questions, I often still find many students asking for help. In primary art this year I have introduced more exercises around observational drawing in order to strengthen student’s skill and confidence around drawing. I did this knowing that the more confident artists I can train, the less support they will need from me.
Is there a system I can put in place where stronger art students can model, and help others? When students do have questions for me, how can I put in place a system where I can conference with students, and still support the students who are asking for help?
The fourth strand of Leading Change through Wellbeing, stands out most to me. How might we further develop leadership and wellbeing strategies in order to support culture and improvement?
A small group of teachers at my school has initiated the Health and Wellbeing committee where we’ve brought back certain initiatives that have been lost after the pandemic including Mental Health Day as well as workshops, and support for teacher wellness throughout the year. We’ve been talking about how we can bring in students into this and develop leadership and a system for wellbeing strategies in order to support school culture. SHARKS is our acronym at the school where we talk about each aspect of health and wellbeing with our students and bake it into our pedagogy as we focus on the important of holistic health.
The three buckets we focus on are staff and faculty, students and the wider community.
- Create opportunities for student involvement in well-being leadership
- Foster turn-key strategies for teachers to tap into for themselves in teaching health and well-being