Friday, September 28, 2012

Teaching Reading in a Visual Art classroom

Right now I am taking a graduate class called "Reading in the Content Area." Some of you all might be familiar with it since it is one the standard courses required of nearly every degree program for an educator to become fully certified to teach. It's also the one course that I have been able to discover is the most detested of all candidate teachers with the exception of those teachers who are answering the calling to teach Reading.

Before this class I was totally unwilling to call believe in the notion that "Every teacher is a Reading teacher." My thoughts were that if I wanted to be a Reading teacher than I wouldn't be in Visual Arts in the first place. On top of all of this is the fact that I am legitimately dyslexic when it comes to reading so that makes me life Reading even less!

Well, I gotta say that I am two weeks from completing this "Reading in the Content Area" course and I have officially jumped ship to stand corrected and agree with the notion that, "Yes. I AM a Reading teacher and every other teacher of subjects other than Reading can be, too!"  Had it not been for this class I wouldn't have known how important literacy is, how threatened it currently is, and how much literacy affects overall school performance - including the arts!

The above picture is one I took during the graphic design class while the students were working hard on figuring out some serious design challenges and while I could have just given them a tutorial to figure things out the way I always have in the past, I have changed things up majorly this year! Just like in all of my other classes, I am doing things by way of inquiry based learning/teaching.

Yes, I help to steer the ship that is my classroom but I am treating my classroom more like a ship that is a huge sailboat rather than a speedboat with a big motor. My goal is to help the students discover where and how the wind blows and then use it to propel them forward rather than letting themselves get lazy and just rip the motor cord and plow through all of the waves.

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