The One with the Student Teaching Flashback

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I went back to Pleasant Grove High School this morning (where I did my student teaching) to say goodbye to my favorite class. It's funny that this group of students turned out to be my favorite because the very first day I met them I was terrified. They were loud, rowdy, disrespectful and mean. But then something happened. I gave a lesson about Conceptual Art, a subject I'm very passionate about, and they really got into it. Some of the students came up with amazing projects:

This girl made a t-shirt with hand prints and words in different languages all over it to resemble how we are "owned" by our parents, the bank, the government, etc.While giving his presentation, this student would block out his words with an ear-splitting horn. It was all about censorship.
This student filled a tape sculpture of himself (made in a different class) with things that represent him and even went so far as to put food in the stomach area and literature in the brain area. It was a physical representation of "what is on the inside is what counts" and how you can't know everything about someone at first glance.This student had the most brilliant presentation of them all - not to mention she made it up on the spot. She walked around the classroom and as she was talking she drew arrows on post it notes and put them on the floor. We were all entranced by her movement and what she was doing so we couldn't take our eyes off of her. She made the conclusion that art is all about a reaction. She certainly got a reaction out of us by making us watch her walk around the room and wondering what the heck she was doing. It's true, sometimes artists just want to get a reaction out of us so they'll make obscene artworks like earrings out of baby fetuses or cover a skull with diamonds.
So this morning I showed up right as first period was ending and the halls were packed. When I walked in the door the teacher said she had to go to the bathroom so I sat in her chair like I used to. It was funny to watch the students filter in. About 90% of them did double-takes after looking at me. Then they smiled and said, "OH HI MRS. EVANS!" Since Ms. Christensen wasn't there, they assumed I was the substitute. I chatted with the students and it was fun. When Ms. Christensen didn't show up after awhile I thought she wasn't going to come back - which would have been fine and actually pretty funny. But she did come back and I talked to the whole class for awhile about what I've been up to since they last saw me in December. I told them they were the only class that I came back to see, which was the honest truth. They felt special. I said good bye and went back to work.

I'm glad that Sari (Ms. Christensen) and I keep in touch. She makes being an art teacher look like fun. If she hadn't been my mentor, I probably wouldn't want to be an art teacher some day. Thankfully that won't be my last time at PGHS, I get to go back to pick up my tiles that I glazed.


  1. Is the girl who did the project with post-it notes and arrows named Kia? I think she was in one of my geography classes when I did my student teaching at Pleasant Grove JHS. I totally love your blog, by the way. It's way cute!

  2. Cool! I was so sure I recognized her, and I remember her being really interested in art. I wonder how many of the same students we had...

    I'm pretty sure that I found your blog from the link on your facebook profile, and I thought it would be fun to see what you'd been up to for the past while.

    Feel free to link to us :) Can I do the same?


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