"Is this, do whatever?" A visitor once asked me during a middle school class. I replied, "My objective is on the board. You are free to go talk with students". The visitor did a lap around the classroom and came back to report to me. They said, "Wow. Ok. It is not doing whatever. The students are all working hard and know the objective of the day. They are making choices!" "Yes!"
When I first became a TAB teacher, I would feel scrutinized and misunderstood. I had some struggles of having my voice heard. I even had moments of feeling like going back to DBAE (Discipline-based Art Education) because it would stop the scrutiny. My students keep me going.
They were genuinely loving art class for the first time in a long time.
I had students that were completing work outside of class time and coming to class during their lunch. Their dedication and motivation are what kept me fighting. I could see that their voice were being heard through their art. I decided to keep going with TAB, and we are still going nine years later.
Now, my school and community look to my class for innovative ideas on instruction and art. My students are highly engaged, and they are wondering how that happened. Honestly, I feel it is because I took a chance to try unconventional teaching strategies. But beyond that, I was comfortable with the unknown and failure. I wanted to challenge and grow as a teacher. I knew this was a way to do so.
What does it mean to be a TAB teacher:
Honoring students authentic artwork and ideas
Developing and maintain sound studio structures and routines
Fighting for students voices
Comfortable with the unknown
A place where I keep all of my thoughts on teaching an elementary Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) classroom.
TAB Teacher Blogs