|Line Study in Paint|
My students have multiple disabilities ranging from physical, intellectual, cognitive, and social to emotional. Many students have autism and/or asperger syndrome. These challenges are at the forefront of everything I plan for my students. Everything from how you lay a pencil or marker on a table to accommodate a student's grip, to your voice quality and how you state a direction or phrase a question. How do you plan art activities for students who do not have well-developed gross or fine motor skills? Students who are non-verbal, deaf or hard or hearing, or legally blind? Differentiation is not a negotiable with this group. Each student must be part of the planning for every lesson.
Teaching art to this group of students is making me re-think methods of doing things, how I set-up my room, how I prep materials, how I state objectives, how I need to modify tools, materials, or desktops to make every project accessible to every student. I think it is making me a better teacher. I know it is making me a happy teacher! I can feel the creativity and passion when I work with these students, and it is amazing.