Sometimes, it's hard to let go...

Sometimes, it's hard to ignore...

Sometimes, it's hard to not help... 

Sometimes, it's the most wonderful part of my job...

Students are full of ideas, capable of amazing feats & master's of skills I never knew existed!

Sometimes, students don't know where to start, where they are going, or how they are going to get there...

Sometimes, I want to show them the starting line, lead them along the path & guide them to the finish line... 

BUT, students are full of ideas, capable of amazing feats & master's of skills I never knew existed!

So, I try hard to let go...

I try hard to ignore...

I try hard not to help...

I try hard to enjoy the most wonderful part of my job... And watch my students CREATE!


I gave my 7th graders their first big challenge of the year:

Take a piece of canvas and use these paints to "stain" the cloth.
Make a pad of paper.
Take the cover you painted and any of the weird things I've collected and turn it into a sketchbook; I will provide hot glue, needles, thread, hammers, nails & plenty of weird things I've collected.  Go!

I had to let go; ignore the pleas for ideas; resist the temptation to help; and assume my roll as safety supervisor.  It was hard.  Some students jumped right in and started cutting, sewing, gluing & searching for the perfect recycled good to complete their sketchbook.  Some sat.  For one day, two, three... Thinking, watching, tinkering.  

Students would ask, "Ms. Zill, what should I do?"

I would reply, "I don't know, what do you want to do?" 

They'd look at me, puzzled.  How could I not tell them the answer? 

"Do I need a needle."  

I would reply, "I don't know, do you need a needle?"

They'd walk away, wander around, look at what other students were doing.  Hammer a few things just for fun.  Walk around again.  Look for more pieces.  

Sometimes an idea would hit them suddenly.  Sometimes a friend swooped in and taught them how to sew.  Sometimes they struggled.  In the end, everyone became an innovator, everyone was successful. They all came up with a solution; some brilliant, some simple, some bizarre, some functional, some not so much.  BUT, they all came up with their own solution! 

7th grade art is challenging.  7th grade art requires thinking.  7th grade art is weird.  7th grade art is hands on.  7th grade art is exciting!

The work was hard, the payoff has been huge!  We've started our optical illusion project.  The instructions go something like this:  make an optical illusion.  Use your name in the project somehow.  

Can't wait to share some of their ideas soon! So far, I've seen the greatest variety yet! 

p.s. - if you have "weird stuff" lying around the house that you want to donate to the art room, my students will find a way to put it to good use! 


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