High School… The beginning

    As my loyal followers know, I have made the switch from elementary to high school. It has been quite a whirl wind. To begin, I was hired to teach high school visual arts I. Two weeks before school started the 2nd art teacher had taken a job closer to home. I was floored and saddened because she is such an awesome person and I couldn't wait to work with her. She was also part of the reason I wanted to work there, but I totally understand why she decided to leave. We're still tight and she's a great mentor. That being said, I made the decision to take on the advanced classes art II, III, and AP instead. 

Me in my first official CHS faculty shirt.
   I know… wow! I have to admit that I panicked inside. My husband and I both knew that there would be tears and panic attacks. Yep, there were plenty. I'm not ashamed. "My name is Becca Ruth and I have panic attacks." Why was I panicking? Well, it's my alma matter and I am following in the footsteps of some pretty amazing art educators. Plus, I was coming from elementary to high school. I had student taught HS and it was amazing, but still. 
   My husband has been so supportive. He kept telling me that the reason I was panicking was because I wanted to do my best. I was working and pushing myself so hard to create a good classroom design, management plan, and lessons. "You're gonna kill it." he said. "You always do." I am not a perfectionist, but I research and plan my booty off to give my students the best. Well, that and I had a huge research paper due for one of my grad classes the first week of school. I also saw flashbacks of my first year of teaching. You know, "that year". The year we grow into our aprons. The year that we cried every day on the drive home. The year we lost or gained some weight through the process. I did not want to relive that year.
   Then an amazing thing happened. After my first full day with my classes it was like a weight had been lifted. My lessons went well, the students were exceptional, and nothing went wrong. It was like that the whole first week, and the week after that, and the week after that. I started to remember why I wanted to teach high school to begin with. I love the advanced classes. They want to be there, to be challenged, and learn. They work so hard. I could not have asked for a better first semester. So far so good. 
   I promise to blog more, but until then here are some snap shots of my first month at Columbia Central High School. 

Candy and Composition
Prisma Colored Pencils

Cube Yo' Face
oil pastel
 Analogous Still Life
Oil Pastel
Art II


Hope Hunter Knight said...

Good for you! I know exactly how you feel, I get those attacks sometimes too. So glad your first day gave you confidence and happiness! Looks like you are well on your way! I have to admit I'm a little envious - I've been thinking about a HS move myself for my last decade of teaching. Not sure if I can give the little ones up! I'll be watching your year ;)

Mary said...

Congrats to you! Looks and sounds like things are off to a great start. Continued success this school year!

Anonymous said...

Hi I am a pretty new art teacher and I just wanted to express my gratitude knowing that someone else reacted similarly to the way I did in the last few years.I still get nervous when I teach a new lesson and I am sure that this year is going to be an amazing adventure. Your blog is amazing thank you for this amazing resources.

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Leah said...

Your practically wrote my story! I found out that they were just little kids in big kid bodies. The Foundation kids had barely had art since elementary school and they had gained the "I can't attitude". The Advanced class had lost their leader and I took the brunt of their anger. That was tough. I did find out that they weren't nearly as good as they thought they were. At first I was took lenient. Now it's "My way of the highway" and they have gotten over their prima donna attitudes. I want from a school where I repeated the same two lessons 12 times per week. Simple but BORING. I had panic attack because my principal was determined to make my life hell. Panic attacks were becoming all too often because he was freaking me out. Now I have a great support system with my new principal and I've learned to deal with parents and tricky teens. It's way better than I thought it would ever be. Treat them fair, firm and friendly! So happy you have found this too.

Becca Ruth said...

Thanks for you comment. This being the second year, I am so much more comfortable with everything. I'm a laid back teacher, cut there are many things that are done a certain way. I love your last statement about treating them fair, firm, and friendly. Totally my motto.

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