Being that I have been in school or taught in schools most of my life I tend to think of things in terms of school years instead of calendar years. So this last year I tried some new professional directions. After the several years of subbing, private tutoring, art camp coordinating, after school care and even a grant I started a search for fulltime employment in ONE place. I was working with adults in a residential home. I formed strong bonds with individuals I cared for and I enjoyed the times I sat around the dining room table with them crafting.
I found another gig at a Daycare center.. So I have been working in a preschool room and will be working with school age children this summer.
So here are some highlights from what I have been doing in the last few months.
Preschool two week themes included: Food and Manners, Bugs, 5 senses and Outer space.
We read books for learning manners the first two weeks, made paper lunch box projects that also had how we should sit and eat for meals, We used paper sandwich's that I made up for a math center activity, Students made me sandwich's with a certain number or ingredients for more advanced students I gave them a prefilled tablet with ingredients written on them and they "waited" on me and wrote in the number of items to put on the sandwich. We made paper sushi rolls and used chopsticks to practice picking them up as a spatial activity.
For bug week we made Lady bugs on a Leaf with painted egg cartons for the bodies, we did bug math with bug math games I created. We also created a terrium with live snails in it and worms.
For five senses week with used a mystery box, we tested scent jars with mystery scents in them, we made texture t-shirts we explored seashells and sand tubs. we did a blindfolded trust walk where teachers lead them.
One of the projects that we did was to make fake California Roll sushi. We put rolled up colored copy papers inside a cardboard tube and then rolled the outer tube into a piece of green construction paper coated in Elmer's white glue. We cut the tube into slices. We tore up Kleenex and stuffed it into the slices as a filler that would look like rice.
This set we glued into a box another set I wrapped in clear packing tape and let kids practice picking the pieces up with chopsticks for a fine motor activity.
I have been working with adults lately in a very different setting. I craft with these adults when I can, they enjoy it. So we used large white paper, crayons, watercolor, construction paper, scissors and glue sticks and created bunny eggs!
So after my several years teaching multiple art teaching jobs I have had to do some real soul searching. I have struggled financially. My schools loans I can not repay they have been put in foreclosure. I have had to depend on family for support to cover healthcare and just took the first vacation in over five years and I am still paying off the debt on my credit card for that. I still hope to find an ideal full time art teacher position. In the meantime something has got to give.
I dropped a few jobs and continuing subbing, I got unemployment and looked for other work. Tomorrow I begin a new position as a RH at a state run facility caring for adults with disabilities. I was told that "The ladies love crafts." So I guess in some ways I am putting my art education background to work.
I have fought the good fight as long as I can. I still hope to teach part time art classes as I do love teaching art.. Being an art teacher was truly always what I wanted to be when "Grew up." I continue to make art and I have been painting a lot and working on new hair pieces for my second etsy shop tribaltrends. I will post more cool art projects as they happen...
I am continuing to dance and taking time for spiritual workshops and classes..so wish me luck.
I am back in the process of looking for work.One of the things I do in between sub jobs and teaching gigs is make new lines of product for my etsy shops. I have been working on more hair falls and renewing old posts. I have also been fortunate enough to team up with some also local craftspeople. Networking is good.
I would like to introduce to you the team of Wire and Brimstone https://www.facebook.com/WireBrimstoneCrafts. These three lovely ladies Joy, Tifa and Stephanie make an array of hand made goods. They have Wire wrapped stone pendants and bracelets. The also make wire and ribbon roses, Perler bead products and hair clips.
This weekend they will be at the RocCon. http://rochesterscifianimecon.com/. They will have some of my product available at their table. I will have necklaces, hair falls,earrings and several other items available.