We talk and talk and talk. Our students listen, even in May. Right? I sure hope so. Here are some of things I hear myself say like a broken record. I wish I knew this when I first started teaching, because a lot of these things took me years to learn. I hope they help you too!
10. “I love a good mistake!”
I really do. I live to help children fix a mistake and teach them strategies to make it work!!!
9. “No name, no fame!”
Most kids are amazing at keeping their name on the many pieces they make but this year’s no name pile makes me ever so sad- the work is glorious and often unclaimed!
8. “I notice…”
This is a fantastic trick I learned in my early years and it helps. Instead of saying things like “why aren’t you cleaning up!?!” Or “see those markers?” I say “I notice four different markers on the floor” and my students sprint to clean them. Love it.
7. “I spy with my little eye…”
I use this sentence starter as a way to get the whole group to work as a team to do something. Sometimes it’s listening on the rug and other times we play the I spy game- when the child finds the thing I spy, they get to stop cleaning (works like a charm in 5th grade! All grades really!)
6. “Five minutes of studio time left”
Clean up reminders are such a huge part of our lives, huh?
5. “I’m looking for…”
I try to make sure I have clear expectations about behavior. Students need to know what we are looking for. Quiet hands, children bossing their own bodies, students on the rug, chairs up…so many different expectations so we must state them!
4. “Today’s one of my favorite projects!”
Kids always tell me that I say this every project, and I guess I do, because I love what I get to teach. It’s important to show our enthusiasm and to teach what excites us because it’s contagious!
3. “This is important and I know you can do it.”
I learned this is my Skillful Teacher class my first year and I say it often. Why? Because it is important and I do believe in them, even when it is easier to just have them take a pass….I know they can do it!
2. “Art takes time and patience.”
It can be frustrating for students to see something that we as teachers can model for them easily. I remind them how much time and energy I devote to art. I’ve been making art for 30+( I mean 29, wink wink) years! I say if I was making blueberry pies that whole time, I would be a gifted baker….but I’m not. My pies are mushy and not amazing. Because I’ve probably made five ever. But my art? I’ve made millions of pieces of art and so it can sometimes look like it is easier for me. All art takes time and patience!
1. “It’s okay to be proud of yourself.”
I do want kids to know I am proud them, I do. Even more? I want kids to be proud of themselves because they work so so hard. Read more about that here.