Workshop at Springfield H.S. Arts Academy
Last year I taught bookbinding to 136 students at the Springfield High School Arts Academy in Springfield, Vermont. This year I taught 140.
No, not all at once. That’s just silly.
As I mentioned in last year’s post, the Springfield Arts Academy is based on the premise that integrating the arts into all subjects helps to reinforce concepts that students are learning. For three days, I taught eight periods in a variety of classes – Science, English, Civics, Math, and Social Studies.
All of the classes were working on a central theme for their books – water. It was interesting to hear teachers talk about the ways the students could approach the project – examining the symmetry of a snowflake or analyzing the mythology of Poseidon.
I had some students in more than one class, so thankfully I had three book structures planned: the panel book (I taught this structure last year),
the flag book,
and the star book (I made my first one a few days before teaching it – blush). Thankfully, the star book is pretty straightforward and easy to teach.
Once again (thank goodness!) I had an assistant for all three days, Catherine. Not only did she guide me through the maze of hallways and bizarre-o system of elevators, but she patiently answered my repetitive question, “When does this period end?” Seriously, she’s a saint.
I find it fascinating how people engage in the creative process. In general, it seems that teenagers are more comfortable with just diving into a project. While adults seem to be more concerned about doing it “right”, teenagers just want to do it. I wish I had more of that fearlessness in my daily life.
I love the reaction I get when I tell people that a bonefolder is, in fact, made of real bone – that’s why I always make a point of talking about it when I teach. On the second day of classes, a student came up to me and asked me for a cow stick. It took me a few seconds to realize that he was actually asking me for a bonefolder.
A delayed reaction, but still a good one. 🙂