It was summer. I was supposed to be enjoying my vacation, relaxing, and mentally preparing myself for my second year teaching… but instead I decided to sign up for a week long class at the Savannah College of Art and Design, at the Atlanta campus, in order to get certified to teach Advanced Placement (AP) Art.
Dread is not a negative enough word to describe how I felt about this course. I wanted to teach AP Art, I wanted to work with the advanced students, but going to a class from 8 AM to 5 PM everyday for a week was not part of my summer vacation plan. However, if I wanted to teach the advanced students, this was a step I had to take. The thought of sitting through 40 hours of classes focused on someone droning on about teaching made my skin crawl.
My alarm went off way too early on Monday the first day of class. I opened my eyes, and slowly adjusted to the 6:30 dim, morning light. I hit snooze more times than was necessary until I finally checked the clock, bolted out of bed, and hurried to my car. On the first day of anything the mad dash to the car doesn’t describe me. I am the type to wake up before my alarm, lay in bed until it goes off, and get ready earlier than necessary, a result of first day angst. Not this summer morning, I dragged myself from bed, all the way to the north side of Atlanta, with a fog of dread clouding my view.
However, as soon as I walked into the SCAD Atlanta building the fog cleared. Student artwork covered every classroom and amazing, inspiring works of art covered every hall. I began to feel better. I was suddenly in my element, and as I walked into class I was shaking off a few crumbs of my dread.
I found a seat, opened my “welcome to SCAD” notebook, pretended to read, as focused on willing my coffee to wake me up. Our instructor, Kevin Cole, made his way to the front of class and began his first day spiel. As soon as he began talking the remainder of my dread was gone.
Kevin Cole is everything I want to be. He is everything I can’t understand how someone can be in a lifetime. He is a very successful high school art teacher, part of the AP grading process, trainer of future AP teachers, husband, parent, and a famous artist. That is the big one, he is one of the most commissioned artists in the state of Georgia. I can barely make a painting during the school year, and I’m lucky to get even a quarter of what I want to get done over summers.
By the time I left Monday afternoon I was looking forward to the rest of the week. I was learning a lot about the AP process, making connections to other teachers, getting a head start on planning my school year, and I was getting inspired about my work. By the end of the week I was excited about AP Art and I had more than a little motivation to work on my own projects. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend a week of my summer.
- Visual journal
- Rubber cement
- Documents from my SCAD course
This page didn’t require a lot of supplies, all it needed was creativity in laying it out. After the class I went through the stack of materials I got over the course of the week and pulled out a few that I didn’t need anymore. I decided to start with a base of overlapped documents about the course, and move forward. I ended up stumbling on an interesting geometric pattern on one of the folders, and thought it was a great way to make the page more interesting. I cut out the pattern and made a new one using the shapes and placing them on the page. To contrast with the round shapes I cut out strips of paper from another section of the folder and glued them down. To finish off the page I added the floor plan from the floor our classroom was on.
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