Thoughts

Change of Season

This past season of teaching has been extraordinary. Working with adults over zoom has been every bit as exciting for me as working with young students in person. I’m so fortunate to have had these opportunities of facilitating projects with so many creative and receptive people.

Here is some of the work made by Karen Quigley over these past six months. Karen not only joined Susan Share and me for Zhen Xian Bao & Beyond, but she also was in my 5-week Paper Unbound class, my 12 weeks of Accordion 101, and even did the Weave through Winter month with Helen Hiebert. It’s particularly interesting to work with people who have acquired many skills as they bring
their own ways of working to whatever they do next.

Generally, teaching ends for me in June. This year it’s a bit earlier, but I started a bit earlier too, with the 12 weeks of Accordion101 classes starting in November, overlapping with Paper Unbound classes then going into Zhen Xian Bao and Beyond, which I co-taught with Susan Share. It has been six months of teaching and designing and co-designing projects, all in this unfamiliar Zoom format, trying to do my best while so much was changing. Every week, for months, what was happening with the teaching felt new.

Here’s what’s behind my zoom desk, which is just barely representative of all the paper play that has been happening in this room.

Even though figuring out so many new work flows and methods is exciting, it’s also challenging.

An art-in-Ed project, interrupted by the March 2020 lockdown. This was to be a book report in flexagon format, with attention to symmetry, fonts, and title design.

The arts-in-ed work I’ve done in schools, also gave me opportunities to try out new ideas, as many of the teachers I collaborated with trusted my judgement. I could evolve the work according to what I determined would support the classroom objectives while still exploring ideas that piqued my interest. The way I would teach the structures and content that we’d do year after year would change a little here and there, improving in response to what I’d observe in the classroom. Mostly, unlike in this new Zoom world, things changed incrementally. Each school year up with me feeling jazzed up about the work that had been created and what I had learned from the kids, from the teachers, and from the work the kids made. Still, at the end of the season I would seriously be ready to turn inward, ready to be without an outside structure.

Looking closely and enjoying geometric constructions, Paula Krieg

Now, at the end of this Zoom season, even as I am still thinking about and looking at the exquisite work that I’ve seen done over the past six months, I’m getting excited about letting go of a schedule and just tinkering with the ideas in my head.

To be continued…

4 thoughts on “Change of Season

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