Wednesday, May 16, 2012


It is my birthday today and I couldn’t ask for a better present from my job than a conversation with an excited graduate. Scores for the OGT’s (Ohio Graduation Test) were posted today and I knew of a student from my first semester class who was just waiting to pass science to find out if she could graduate this year as an 11th grader. I went to check her scores this morning and found out she passed. We talked this morning all about her future plans and all the excitement she is feeling. She plans to go into nursing. I have been speaking to many of my seniors this week, making sure they are on track to pass and graduate and it is a wonderful experience to see their hard work finally paying off for them. Some of these students are the first in their family to graduate high school and many of them didn’t see this as a possibility for themselves but they are accomplishing this because of the opportunities online school has offered them and their strength to stick it out. I am very proud!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Preparing for the End of the Year

I cannot believe I am only 3 ½ weeks away from the end of my first year as an in-service teacher. I have learned so much and couldn’t ask for a more positive experience. I am starting to get prepared for the end of the year in my classroom and there is much to do. A little bit ago myself and the other art teachers sorted through all of the best student artwork we’ve collected over several years (just one for me) for the graduation art show. The work will be viewed before the ceremony where over 1,000 of our students will graduate. I am so excited to attend this event. This week I have begun to work with seniors individually to ensure they pass my class so they can graduate. In my experience at brick and mortar schools, seniors often do not participate in final projects as they get out several weeks early but in my classroom I opened up all the content for the rest of the year. I can control what students see and usually I only keep current content open for them so they don’t rush through it but at the end of the year it is nice to give students the flexibility to finish early if they choose. So far I’ve gotten a lot of assignments submitted which I hope makes end of the year grading a bit less insane (yeah, right!).
A bit unrelated, with the completion of my thesis (and defense coming soon) I have had some extra time to start working on my own art again. I am really enjoying rediscovering making art for pleasure and I hope I can bring these experiences into my new classroom in the fall. 
Mixed Media on Canvas (in progress)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Spring Things

It’s been a little bit longer than I wanted since I updated but it has been a busy time for my school and myself lately. A couple weeks ago we took a field trip to the Columbus Museum of Art and had a nice turn out of students and parents. We had a docent-led tour that was very fun and informative. As always it is so nice to meet my students. I also had an opportunity to meet with them at our recent Family Night, an event held in many cities in the state for parents and students to attend and meet their teachers while doing fun activities like trying out for the talent show! It is neat to see how an online school holds a talent show. Students audition in front of a camera at Family Nights and their classmates vote on the best videos online to decide the winner. This is similar to how the Senior T-shirt Design contest is judged as well. Our art department picked 4 finalists and students will soon vote for a winner whose design will be printed on the Class 2012 t-shirt. At Family Night I had the pleasure of gluing down our Art Club collage for the year. Students each sent in several doodle squares and I combined them into a collaborative collage. I also worked with students at Family Night to create doodles that will be used to make another collaborative collage that will be constructed by students, friends, and family members at events in the future. I love finding new ways to get students excited about Art!