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Third quarter welcomes a new face into the Hinckley-Big Rock Middle School art classroom, student teacher Raina Williams. Ms. Williams comes to us from Northern Illinois University and will be working closely with me until spring break, after which she will move on to an elementary school art placement at Ronald D. O’Neal Elementary School in Elgin. Ms. Williams said this about her student teaching experience so far:

“This semester has been one of my best yet. I got into the art education program spring 2020, and from then on I have been mostly learning online. Coming into student teaching with a mostly online experience has been as rewarding as it has been challenging. I felt like I had to relearn being in a classroom. One thing I am most thankful for is the welcoming faculty and students, they made me feel at home right away. This experience has only gotten better as the semester goes on, and I am learning something new about teaching every day. I can't wait to take what I learn here at Hinckley-Big Rock and apply it to my future career as an art educator."

I too am excited to get back to work in my middle school classroom, having missed the opportunity to work with students during the 2020-21 school year. This year in the art room, 6th graders are working on becoming more comfortable with a wide range of media, ranging from perspective drawing to woven tapestries. The 7th graders are focusing on capturing their own style and developing their artistic goals through comics and manga. Given the diversity and complexity of graphic novels, students will have the opportunity to learn new drawing skills through their favorite characters and some original creations. Below is a great example that comes to us from 7th grader, Evie Bucksonas she moves from the planning and sketching phase to a completed comic page. 

8th graders this year, hit the ground running with their self-portrait project - a classic in the art room! In this project, students are asked to create a snapshot of their lives as 8th graders, including the fashion, styles, and poses that they believe best fit who they are at this moment in time. Further preparing the 8th graders for higher levels of art, they also participate in ceramic mug making, abstract expressionism art, and taking a critical look at the fine art world and its triumphs as well as its faults.

Not only have I looked forward to working with students on projects I had missed and new endeavors, but having my first student teacher has made this quarter exceptionally special. Ms. William’s has allowed me to explore my love of teaching in a new way and has also brought a fresh perspective and energy to my classroom. So, if you see her pink hair in the hallways of Hinckley-Big Rock Middle School, be sure to say hi!