Being on Holiday Break, I've had some time to consider a few changes I would like to make once school starts again.
I've always found it extremely important to recognize the true talent and hard work of my students in each school I teach at. That said, it has been a struggle to select one student for each grade, each month to be "Artist of the Month". Not because they aren't creating spectacular pieces of art, but because they are spending extended lengths of time on their art (especially the 4th and 5th graders), and they sometimes do not have a finished project each month. I don't have any problem with my students wanting to take their time and do their very best work; they are engaged and use their time wisely each week, what art teacher is to argue with those terrific qualities? My solution the is instead of having one specific student I recognize as "Artist of the Month" for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., I'm going to have a bulletin board (or window display) at each of my schools that is an "Artist Spotlight". I thought with an "Artist Spotlight" I don't always have to display artwork from each grade, but can spotlight the exceptional work from each grade once they have finished their latest projects.
This will be the used as the wording for the "Artist Spotlight" at one of my elementary schools:
Along with the "Artist of the Month" award, soon to be "Artist in Spotlight" award, I like to offer weekly positive behavior reinforcement. I had been handing one "Art Star Card" out to a deserving student a week in each of my class sections. The students really get excited; I present the card as they are in line at the end of class, and the "Art Star" receives a silent applause before leaving. With the new year, I thought a new design would be nice. Instead of a card, I'm going to give one student "The Art Star Badge" each week.
And the Art Star Badge goes too....
Other thoughts on changes I'm going to make for the new year to come over the next days.