Reflections and highlights from 2016
This August I gave myself the challenge of completing #DrawingAugust just using my iPad and stylus. Some days were much more difficult than others, but 31 days later I did it. I'm actually really quite proud of some of my drawings for once. Here are some examples.
Providing every student in Year 7 (all 350 of them!) with the opportunity to have their work exhibited in a one day pop-up exhibition was quite a challenge. I had an amazing Y7 art curator crew who helped hang and position the work in our Junior Learning Village in the lesson before lunch, and when students appeared at lunchtime, the exhibition was in place. Proud students looked up at their paintings, eagerly pointing them out to their friends and staff - exactly how it should be. Our Year 8 students are currently working on a World War One project and the outcomes should be incredible, so I'll have to get my curator crew together again with our thinking berets on, to plan for another exciting exhibition.
It's so important to share and celebrate success. Must do more.
I've been lucky enough again to have 2 more amazing collaborations this year in the Sketchbook Circle. Huge thanks to Helen Homewood and Elizabeth McDermott for being such amazing, patient and inspirational partners. I've really been challenged to think and work in different ways with new techniques and subject matter which has been really exciting. I love responding to the work of others.
4. Changing Rooms
I've always wanted to transform a room-I used to love Changing Rooms (Linda Barker was my favourite) and our 6th form room at school was perfect for this. It was slightly unloved, not really fit for purpose, and with an increase in the number of students opting for A Level Art this September, I grabbed the opportunity. Students were involved in the whole process and helped with the planning, installation and painting, supported by our fantastic technician. The room now has a real buzz to it, students have working spaces which are similar to those they would have if they were at college and...they even bring their friends along and show them their work. Says it all really.
We love it!
My own two children continue to amaze me. Within the past 18 months we've moved from North Yorkshire to Northumberland and they've moved school twice. They constantly make me laugh until I cry. My daughter completed her dreaded Y6 SATs only 3 weeks after starting a new school and I'm so proud of how well she did - especially in that daft reading paper. We did lots of things to prepare for the SATs such as going out and having fun as a family. I think we looked at the study/revision books once...
Challenges for 2017
I love reading. I also love seeing, hearing and reading about what other people are reading, so this challenge is perfect for me. 52 books this year is the goal, and whilst my choice of books may be quite bizarre at times, I'm determined to do it. My almost 12 year daughter (who has at least one book glued to her hand at all times) has challenged me and joined in too. Any great suggestions or recommendations that we'd both enjoy reading together would be much appreciated.
I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books yet either...
I recently treated myself to a big iPad Pro and Pencil which I love! I'm still getting used to both, but I've joined the Sketchbook Circle Digital Exchange this year to challenge myself. Hopefully this will give me the chance to refine my rusty skills and also learn some new ones.
I really love all of the #teacher5aday posts on Twitter which focus on wellbeing, and it's fascinating to see how others respond, especially to the #teacher5adaysketch challenges. Thanks to @JennaLucas81 and @MartynReah who have inspired me this past year, I'm really looking forward to making even more new connections this year with like-minded teachers, and meeting up with more of the incredibly supportive #TeamArt.
4. Collaborate more.
I'm open to offers...