Friday, February 22, 2013

Lunch with the ladies

It being school vacation and all, I  got to have a lunch date yesterday with two of my favorite former co-workers.  One is friend C, who, if you are a longtime reader of my blog, will know as the fourth grade teacher down the hall whose head I painted with henna (three times!) while she was going through chemo for breast cancer.  You can read about her our henna adventures here.  She remains healthy and cancer-free, has left the fourth grade behind, and now is in her third year of teaching math and computer skills to crazy middle schoolers.  She still is the driving force behind the wonderful school garden and the school's bottle recycling program.  I miss the long afternoon visits with her when we took breaks from our work to put together puzzles in my art room.

The other co-worker I'll call E, the high school art teacher who I mentored when she was newly hired, and who now is in her 3rd year teaching grader 7-12 art. Since she was hired, she has totally turned around a program that had totally fallen apart.  Check out what she found when she was hired, here and here!  She has made the classroom an inviting environment, created curriculum, gained the respect of the students, exponentially improved the quality of student work being created, and just been all around NICE, even while becoming the new yearbook adviser, supervising the creation of props and painting sets for the school musical production, and teaching everything from crazy 7th graders to digital photography to ceramics to drawing and painting and more.  I don't know anyone who doesn't adore her, and ironically, she and C, whose classroom is around the corner, have become good friends.

The day before our lunch, I had spent the afternoon in my old art room with my replacement (at her request), showing her some tips for making molas, using tooling foil, and doing imitation batik with toothpaste.  While I've never blogged about molas (but I will some time, I promise), if you check my labels to the right you can find my various posts on tooling foil and toothpaste batik by just clicking on the words!


  1. Oh boy! More toothpaste batiks to look forward to seeing!!!

    Your poor friend who inherited that messy room -- YIKES! I can't imagine leaving a room looking like that!! It's kind of like one of those movies where some disaster hits a town and the inhabitants leave everything "as is" and abandon the premises!!

    1. Christie, Now that I'm retired, I feel free to say what I want; I can't get disciplined for my opinions. I'm so thankful that our school district landed this lovely young lady for our secondary students; she is wonderful. The program had decayed over a number of years, as the former teacher, a talented woman, tended to her personal life but neglected to be a responsible educator, and by the time she left, it was a shambles. I got into a bit of trouble for suggesting that her program was less than wonderful. Many kids loved her - she listened to all their problems, and let them do what they wanted - and that's nice, but she wasn't TEACHING and they weren't LEARNING. We have a responsibility to provide a learning environment, and thankfully, that is what the school now has, and the success of the students is proof. And thankfully, the room is now safe.