(09/05/17) Arts Mark Assistant

I don’t feel that I can go right in and write this post like I normally would without saying something first, even though it is hard for me to open up like this and step away from facts and happy experiences for a minute. One of the children from the schools, Annalise passed away at the weekend, and I know this won’t be seen by anyone but I want to get it off my chest, that my thoughts and condolences are with her family and classmates at this time. It was truly shocking and saddening to learn of this, and it was lovely to have known Annalise even for a short amount of time. I doubt my presence made a difference to her life, but it was nice to see her enjoying her time in the workshops.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 16.53.28

Today the children were working on their sketchbooks, they have to keep these updated as someone comes into check them and they go towards their arts mark. For both schools we split them into three tables, each with one adult on, so there was Sioux, myself and a teacher. Then every half an hour the groups would rotate round.

On my table we were making backgrounds using the rip and stick method, which really pushed them out of their comfort zones because they wanted it to be neat and perfect but we were trying to teach them to let go, and be free with it.

Sioux had printed copies of the photos that I have been taking for the children to stick in to their sketchbooks. So once they had finished their backgrounds they could choose a photo to stick on to it.

Then once this was done they could use sequins etc to embellish their pages. Then they were to write down their thoughts and feelings towards the work shops, saying what was their favourite, things they found difficult etc.

They would then move onto another table, and another group onto mine and I’d repeat the process.

Today involved me giving demonstrations, and luckily I didn’t really think about then whole talking in front of people thing, so i didn’t have time to worry about it, and I just got on with it, and children are much easier to talk in front of. During the session at the first school for each group I showed them my sketchbooks from A Level art, and their jaws dropped open, and they gave lovely feedback, to the point that they didn’t believe I had drawn everything inside. They were much nicer critiques than my art teacher.

At the second school I didn’t get round to showing each group, but I squeezed it into one and they had the same reaction. I also learnt today that I am 15/16 (at both schools they started asking/guessing my age), and when I told them my real age they didn’t believe that either. I also learnt that PVA glue apparently smells like raw noodles or pickled onion I think someone said. Today was full of such lovely  and happy moments, all the children were so talkative (but still working) and I was included in all the conversations.

I felt really respected today, I think this came with doing demonstrations because they had to listen to know what to do. Some think because of my age it’s easy to stay out of trouble with me, and thats how I always thought they felt, but today I think I proved most of them wrong. I stood my ground, and they listened and did as they were told. (this is more during the second school because they’re slightly more misbehaving than the first but none the less a delight to teach).

My tasks today were:

  • Bringing in sketchbooks for examples
  • carrying equipment
  • setting up the classroom
  • looking after and being responsible for 10 children at a time
  • giving demonstrations
  • assisting children when they needed it
  • answering questions
  • taking photos
  • tidying away/cleaning

I am still learning so much in each session, about myself too, that I am actually capable of teaching children, not just as an assistant but being in charge of my own table. This involved public speaking, something I struggle with, but I don’t remember stuttering or stammering once, because I feel respected and liked by the children, they also want to listen too which helps.

I have the utmost respect for teachers who do this on a daily basis, because I feel so drained and tired, but perhaps today is a mixture of emotionally and physically drained.

It is extremely disheartening that Annalise won’t be there anymore, but today me and Sioux were there to take their minds of it, and for them to enjoy themselves again as they all seemed to do.

These are the un-edited photos, today was such a rush to get the photos that I didn’t have time to set my camera up properly so I switched it to auto for quickness, but this has given off some strange colour casts in the photos.

Saint Clements:

As you can see the children now love it when I get my camera out, and really act up to the camera.

East-church Primary:

The best thing about when I take photos during these sessions at the schools is that there is rarely any editing to be done, but this time I will have to, to fix the colours. (that’ll teach me for cheating).


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