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My kids are screwed and other lessons learned at art class….

I volunteer occasionally at my children’s art class at school.

It’s a nice way to interact with the kids and put in some volunteering time painlessly.

This week when I arrived for to help Sam’s kindergarten class, I was introduced by the art teacher to her new student teacher.

Right off the bat, she shook my hand and said “I feel so blessed to be able to be a student teacher here.”

I nodded and smiled.   I thought that was a strange thing for a college student to say to a parent.  After thinking about it for a while I realized that this generation of individuals are the first to grow up with a heavy dose of social media.

Maybe they have seen people my age talk about being “blessed” so much – that she thinks that’s how we talk??!!!  Her exposure to people my age is probably mostly on Facebook, and research would show that the probably most used phrase would be “I’m blessed.”


So she gathers the children on the rug to read them a book.  The book is about the artist Grandma Moses.  The book is probably meant for a middle schooler.  There are little to no pictures.  She is droning on and on about Grandma Moses’ life.

I look around the rug at the 5-year-olds.  They are snapping.  They are whispering in each other’s ears.  Some have crawled away and are hiding under the tables.

She keeps reading.  I am not a teacher – but this seems like a bad idea.

When things are almost completely at riot-level, she decides to take out a poster of one of Grandma Moses’ paintings.

The kids pay attention for a minute.

She asks the group “What do you see in this picture?”

A little girl’s hand shoots up, she is up on her knees waving for the teacher’s attention.

The student teacher calls on her, “Yes, what do you see?” she asks with a smile.

The little girl speaks slowly and deliberately, “I see…9 babies.”

grandma moses

Um…I’m no art expert…but I don’t even see one baby….let alone 9.

“Okay,” the student teacher responded slowly (completely disregarding that the answer was 100 percent wrong.)

“How about anything else? Does anyone see anything else besides 9 babies?”

The children seemed encouraged by the acceptance of wrong answers and several hands shot up.

“OH! I know!!” one little boy said with his hand up.

“Yes?” the student teacher said expectantly.

He spoke while seriously focusing on the picture.

By this time all the other children had passed out from boredom....

By this time all the other children had passed out from boredom….

“I see….90 people.”

At this point the art teacher decided to interrupt what was shaping up to be the worst art lesson in the history of teaching.

“Children, there are not 90 people in the picture…what else do you see?” she asked.

The same little boy who had seen 90 people raised his hand again.

“Yes?” the student teacher asked.

“I meant to say I see 100 people.” he said matter-of-factly.

At this point the teacher decided to point out the trees and buildings.

She also started to speak about the point where the sky met the ground.  She told the children that it was called a horizon.

The art teacher jumped in.  She mentioned that the class had learned about horizontal lines the week before and that maybe if the student teacher wrote on the board the words “horizontal” and “horizon” then the kids would notice something.
And this was my favorite part of the lesson.

Better than the teacher talking in Facebook status updates.

Better than children saying they see 100 people in a picture of 3 people.

The student teacher went to the board and wrote the letter “h.”

She then turned to the art teacher and said, “How do you spell ‘horizon’?”

I took this as my cue to head home and participate in something worthwhile like

cleaning the house,   making dinner,   waxing my moustache,   reading US Weekly pretty much anything else besides being in that classroom.





24 responses »

  1. How do you spell horizon. Now I know why she felt blessed to be a student teacher.

  2. I have to say, it’s still better than one of my ST who instructed my class on the 57 states of America. Did I mention he then argued with both the students and the staff that there was indeed 57 states instead of admitting his error? Oh, and he told them to “Google it!”

  3. First of all, you had me at a picture of Billy Madison. OMG, how do you spell horizon? HA!

  4. “How do you spell horizon?” How do you spell, get the hell out of this classroom before your stupidity rubs off on these innocent kids? Is there a vetting process or something for student teachers?

  5. Funny how small annoyances can add up quickly and test our patience. The fact that someone in the education field can’t spell horizon is pretty shocking too.

  6. As a former teacher, I may have to agree w/ you that that was the worst lesson ever taught in the history of teaching. Sorry you had to waste your time there, but at least you got a funny blog post out of it. . . 🙂

  7. Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhh!
    Okay, now that THAT’S out of my system, maybe I can put a positive spin on this. At least she asked how to spell it rather than writing it incorrectly without knowing. That’s hopeful, right?

  8. Jeez. That’s what growing up with spell check and auto correct will get you – a nation of sucky spellers. At least she wasn’t an English teacher!

  9. How do you spell horizon? Oh, for the love of Adam Sandler.

  10. Wow. That’s depressing. Teaching does not call for social media platitudes. And how do you spell ‘horizon’? Seriously? Ugh.

  11. At least you saw a funny blog post on the horrizzoon.

  12. Oh. My. Goodness. Wow. I fear for the future of our children.

  13. OMG that is hilarious. I love getting the preschool “newsletter” home about all the things they are doing in their curriculum – like learning about Frida Kahlo and archeology. My kid never has a clue beyond “I colored today.”

  14. What a disaster of a student teacher. Funny now though.

  15. This is a good argument for home schooling!

  16. Wow. No wait, I mean WOW. At least she’s still a student, but holy guacamole. I actually gasped and slapped my forehead when I read your post. Wow. (I know I said it, but it bears repeating.)

  17. Wow. Just wow. The picture from Billy Madison was perfect. I see 9 babies. So, so funny.

  18. Hahahaha oh my god that’s ridiculous! Now excuse me, I’m going to study that picture to find those 9 babies x

  19. Huh, that’s funny, because I saw ten babies in that picture. Kids…..

  20. Ha! That was so funny/painful – in a good way!

  21. So scary that this student teacher was let loose on a pack of impressionable minds, but this story had me laughing out loud the entire time. Holy shizz, this was funny. Reminds me of all the under 20somethings at the grocery store check out who don’t know what a zucchini is. Maybe they should “Google” it.

  22. Oh no. This is so funny. And painful. And funny.

  23. That is a pretty funny story, but I can understand what happened there completely. Her nerves got the best of her, at least that is what i think because that has happened to me a couple times. I am currently in a situation exactly like this student teacher. I am an art education student and am currently an art student teacher in a K-8 school. it is so hard to completely grasp the way I should talk when going from Kindergarteners to eighth graders or the other way around. How do you go from talking about art at a very deep level to teaching the basics. It is a struggle I am experience and can completely understand the position of that student teacher, though the spelling error she encountered was not very professional and probably hindered her professional relationship with the art teacher. I enjoyed this post, so thank you; I like hearing about other art student teachers’ experiences and difficulties 🙂


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