A Blast to the Past

A Blast to the Past: going back to High School

For my art therapy internship class, I decided to shadow my high school art teacher. Observing a high school is highly beneficial to anyone looking to work with adolescents in the future. The art teacher taught the grades of 9th through 12th, approximately the ages between 13 to 19. Returning to a place in past can be strange; for me it was like being in a different school. This is because when I returned I wasn’t regarded as a student any more. Instead I was respected as an adult by the students and the instructors. This feels strange when you were here only a few years ago and about one year older than the students; it creates an entirely new atmosphere. Because I was treated differently than before, it made the experience more enjoyable, but it also made the school feel much smaller.

Students interaction

By observing the students, I was able to note how different age groups interacted in their peer groups and with their instructors. When the students were collaborating together working on an art project, they would tease one another, use fowl language, and turn everything into a joke. Once the instructor came by, they would change their mannerisms into something more acceptable to the school’s code of ethics. The students didn’t only do this when their teacher walked by, but when I walked by as well. The students seemed to be very interested in their future and what life is like after high school, therefore they asked questions such as what is college like, how does things change, what do you need to get into college, and, my favorite, is the ‘freshmen 15’ true. It’s meaningful to think about how high school students are looking to future, where they are going, and what they will accomplish.

student art projects

The day I was there, the teacher I was shadowing was presenting the class’s new project: print making. I remembered this project from high school; I made a two-toned print of the Beatles. My task was to help the students understand and work with positive and negative space. To explain it I showed the students that what will be craved will not be shown in the print, and what is the farthest in the lest relief will show on the ink in the print.  The students created their designs on linoleum blocks then carved their designs into the blocks. Some students made made flowers, symbols, instruments, and silhouettes. Overall the students’ first day working with the project was very successful; I am curious to see how the prints will turn out.

I remember my favorite project in high school was when I painted a child’s chair and desk with the theme of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a popular children’s book. I then gave it to my English teacher for her daughters. Feel free to leave any comments or ask me any questions below about my experience. What was your favorite high school art project?

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