This word is the perfect acronym for a fool proof back-to-school formula. Check it out:
W = Welcome
Welcome those kids to your art room with a heartfelt greeting! It will kick your class off right.
E = Entrance
Make sure your students understand how to "make an entrance". Getting your artists into your room in a calm, quick and quiet manner means you have more time to create!
L = Let Them Know Expectations
I have one rule: Be Kind. However, that one rule holds a lotta weight. So this year, I'm creating a short video to share with my students to quickly walk them thru my expectations. This means, I won't leave anything out when I talk to my dozens of art classes!
C = Create!
Make sure there is time to create on that first day! They've sat and listened to rules and procedures all day long...make your room different. Allow them to get messy on that very first day. They will love you for it.
O = Observe
Be like a scientist on a safari. Observe these art makin' creatures to see who needs to be moved, who needs to have access to different supplies, who needs more peer tutoring. Take all of that information in so you can use it in the future.
M = Make Them Feel Special
Everyone responds to love. Show it in a way that both you and your students are comfortable with. For me that means a lot of side hugs. We also use sign language in my art room. Signing "I love you" is one way we show we care about each other.
E = Exit
Making an exit is just as important as an entrance. I have a habit of getting the kids juiced up, it's just my nature. So I'm working on some new procedures to have them leave calmly. Sign language has really been helping in that department!
So there you have it! Instead of worrying away your summer about those first days of school, just breathe and remember WELCOME. Shoot, even paint yourself a sign if you have to. That's what I did!
In other news, as you do plan for the new school year, check out my buddy Laura Lohmann's ART TEACHER PLANNER! What the what?! Where has this been all my life! Now I have no excuse not to get my life together. At least that's what my life coach tells me. Ya'll best check it out.