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Fall 2020: How are you teaching ceramics?


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Hi all, I am a pottery and sculpture teacher at a HS in Massachusetts. I wanted to start a forum here to discuss your plans for teaching this fall- I thought it could be a good way to share ideas!

My school has chosen a hybrid model, though they have not yet agreed on a schedule. No matter what, I will only see each student in person 2 (or fewer) times per week.

While I plan to have them on the wheels when they are in class, I am not sure how to address their time at home. I want them to continue making while remote (and the district is requiring them to have a full classload on their remote days) but I am really not sure how to approach this. Any thoughts/plans would be appreciated! 

Stay sane 3D teachers, we got this!

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In regards to myself, I was *supposed* to have my 3-D class right away, but that has been tweaked a bit.  We are running a "traditional", 8-Period schedule.  HOWEVER, due to COVID and some recent storm damage, we are altering things a bit.  The storm damage pushed back our start date, and the COVID is not trending in a favorable manner.  So instead of having all eight of our classes, we are splitting the Semester into Quarters, and doing four one Quarter and four another.  The class length will be doubled, so we are essentially running a Block Schedule.  I have *zero* issues with this, because we used to run a Block, and I loved it!

However, due to scheduling, my colleague who teaches Middle School, cannot be at the building as he will be at one of our Elementary buildings.  So I will likely have to cover his sections of Middle School Art!  Other than covering for him a time or two, I haven't taught Middle School Art since my Student Teaching days! 

Also,  because this would normally be my Prep time, I have to give him one of my classes, so that I don't lose my Prep, and so that it doesn't look like he is doing nothing.  I told my Principal, that I didn't mind giving up my Prep for a bit, but I understand the optics.  So, likely I will still teach those classes, but they will "Officially" be taught by my colleague. 

As of right now, we are meeting in person, with the exception being those, that are kept home.  If we were to go with completely digital/ online, teachers are still to report in.  So no matter what set up we have, I will always go into the School, and I will need to have plans that cover both in person and online. 

It's just a FUN year!

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One of the potential benefits of having a hybrid schedule is that you could send materials home to work with each week, and the finished product brought back for critique. However, sending clay home may not be a great thing considering that some kids may not have an area where they can work with it at home (since it's so messy), and it could be difficult to transport without breaking. So you cold make the in-person days the hands-on work days, and use the home days for doing critique via Zoom, art history, and demonstrations from your studio.

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Hopefully by October we'll be doing hybrid here at Antelope Valley College.  Until then it's all Zoom.  Pretty sad for both me and the students, as such. Demonstrations only go so far.  It was a long day today with no students touching any clay.  :(

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On 8/19/2020 at 5:40 PM, neilestrick said:

However, sending clay home may not be a great thing considering that some kids may not have an area where they can work with it at home (since it's so messy), and it could be difficult to transport without breaking.

That is one of my biggest concerns! 

Have I had students take work home over the years?  Yes!  Usually it's the high achieving students, who just didn't have enough time in class to make the project up to their standards. 

I always tell students, that it is an option to take things home, but that I don't recommend it. 

And just like you said Neil, some don't have the space.  We are a rural community, but still have families in small apartments.  Odds are, we have families without power or running water on some occasions!

All of this is definitely testing everyone's flexibility and ability to adapt.

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