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If you’re new to teaching, new to a school or have been given a new timetable you need a simple and quick way to plan your classes. I know that everyone has their preferred way to do programs, and sometimes you have a boss breathing down your neck while you recreate their version of programming  perfection*. This is a quick way to begin.

First off. DRAW. This will give you at least a weeks breathing space. It’s easy to organise, you don’t need a lot of materials and it can be a one-off lesson or the beginning of an extended task. It will give you some really great diagnostic information about your students that can be useful for refining your program and for comparative assessment (get them to do the same thing again at the end of the term). Make sure the students write their name and date on top of their work and file the work away (more on that later). BONUS: if you get them to write their name on their work at the beginning of the lesson you can freak them out by calling them by their names as you visit each desk. This will literally get students to look at you like you are a supreme being. That is the power of using names.

Secondly, make and produce. That is an instruction for you, not your students. Have a go at the project you would like the students to do. It really is impossible to get Great Results if you have no idea what you are doing. If it is too hard for you to do, it will be too hard for 95% of the class and only just interesting for the genius (again, more on that later).

Actually, I’ve changed my mind this is “Secondly”. So, secondly, be flexible. Your amazing projects need to fit around, camps, excursions, swimming carnivals, exams and really important assemblies* It is disappointing to over plan. You may find that you start a seemingly great project and then realise that it sucks. I implore you to stop, abandon shit and start something better. This will yield Great Results.

Wait, What? Projects as in plural? yes, dumb dumb. Art is meant to be fun and if you expect that drawing project to last twenty weeks you will not get Great Results. Have lots of ideas ready to go. Try to cover a variety of media and a range of skills and processes. A Year 8 (that’s 13 years old) program would have a rhythm like this: Draw, Clay, Draw, Print, Draw, Paint, Draw, Paper Sculpt, Draw, Computer Design. There would be some history and theory work thrown in there too. See how drawing starts everything and there is a mix of 2D and 3D work in a range of basic media. A good starting point is the old file the last teacher left list down loads of ideas and fit them into the categories of 2D or 3D and then break it down further to paint, print, sculpt and then even further to say, paint with watercolours, acrylic or oils (FANCY!) Lots of projects can be reworked using the same theme in a different media.

I record my semester plan in a word document. See below (Sorry its a bit little but you get the idea)

Year 8 Program

Great Results = happy students = non-alcoholic teacher. This is a true formula worked out by a maths teacher

*This is a myth, or a nightmare if you have a boss who believes in *

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