Sunday, March 8, 2009

There is a boy..

As many of you already know I teach Art on Saturdays in an after school program that my friend organized. It is actually more like a school after school. I teach kids aging from 3 years old to 7 years old.
Today I wanted to tell you some stories from my "teacher life".
No, not stories, more like short sketches...

There is a boy who used to cry every time he would walk into the room. He is a big boy, in one of my older classes. First I was at a loss what to do. I tried talking to him, but he would close like a sea shell and not let me in. He would draw tiny tiny pictures in the middle of the sheet of paper. He refused to use paint at first. Then he painted a little tiny thing ...And yesterday he Painted! It was like a door had opened and he let IT out. Whatever it was. But the boy was painting. And I did not want to disturb him, so involved he was. I was happy . I am most happy when I see something change. Good change.

There is a boy who would always say "NO". Do you like to play:"NO!" . Would you like to make a snow man? "No! I will make a Big Bad wolf and he will eat the snowman". The boy has the sweetest face with big blue eyes. He looks straight into my eyes and says his magic word "NO". He is 3 years old. Our last class he did not say it. We sculpted a family of dinosaurs , and he played along...He helped us make the legs and the tails, and make their home cozy and warm to live in. It made me feel warm and fuzzy and very proud of my teaching skills;) Even though, it is mostly the fact that he started attending the school twice a week and got used to all of us.

But seeing thing happen, seeing kids become loose and start making things--is a high for me. I will keep writing about my students, there is still a boy who drew a horse (worth putting into a Museum of Modern Art) and a girl that mixes colors like the impressionists (5 years old), but that will be next time. I have to get to bed and ready for another Monday. Hopefully it will be spring tomorrow.
The painting in the beginning of the post is by another student of mine, virtual student actually(I write lesson plans, and her Mom sends me scans for review). I have never met her, but her Mom found me on Etsy and we have become pen pals. This girl has the most wonderful imagination! This is her take on my "green" lesson. The giraffe seems perfectly at peace in this lively happy place.


Cat (darklingwoods) said...

So glad you are enjoying teaching the art classes :) The kids are lucky to have you!

Jessie Lilac said...

How lovely that you're changing the lives of people just starting out. It sounds like a huge achievement for the little boy who was so inhibited he could only make a tiny drawing, and to think now he's become brave enough to use paint, messy unpredictable paint! Well done Vita, the world needs people like you.x

Robyn said...

wonderful stories vita!

rossichka said...

I understand you pretty well. I myself have a group in puppet theatre art. My "students" are aged 7 to 11. I love to work with children! They are spontaneous, open-hearted and uncredibly talented! But so different characters!I have a boy in my group -he's 9, a naugty one. He has a lack of energy! He's in the mud, if it rains, he's rolled in snow if it snows and, of course, he's always without a hat and with an unbottoned coat, if it's cold outside. But what I like is that his destroying energy transfers into a creative one during the time we are together. I like very much what he makes out of paper! He has a rich imagination. From the other side he's nearly always against the rules,if there're some. And this doesn't let him make everything I want. Yes, he made his puppets, but they were not THOSE we were learning how to make. We are creating theatre and the children learn step by step that they have to manage to work together, no matter the relations between them, 'cause otherwise the result won't be good. I'm trying to teach them that in a theatre performance one should help the others and not play for himself but for the show. I believe it will help them in similar situations in their future life.
I'm sure you have so much to teach your students, Vita! They and their parents are lucky to have you as their teacher in art!
The most wonderful thing is that children learn best while playing and entertaining, isn't it?

Julia said...

Dear Vita,

Please tell me how can I enroll my 3.3 yr old into your Saturday after school program? Do you only do it in the summer or through the year as well?

I have seen the pics, your pupils do - and they are marvelous.

anyway my e-mail is jdudka at


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