This summer I had the opportunity to work as an art and ceramic instructor at Chatham University's Summer Music and Arts Day Camp. The camp ran for 6-weeks, Monday-Friday, from June 16th to July 25th. Being my first go at a full-time teaching position, it proved to be as equally challenging as it was rewarding.
Camp schedule ran much like that of a schools: 40 minute classes, with 8 periods throughout the day, from 9:20 a.m. -3:45 p.m (Although I was getting there around 8:00 a.m. and often staying until 5 or 6 p.m., while having to sit through Pittsburgh traffic - phew!) . My classroom provided me with adequate space for supplies and student work, ceramic wheels and kilns, and large windows that offered lots of natural light. I taught general art to D2 Campers (1st-2nd grade, an average of 20 students per class - with two councelsors per class who were of tremendous help), and ceramics to D5 Campers (5th-9th grade, an average of 10 students per class). As I quickly found out, both age levels have their pros and cons.
Without a doubt, any moments of pressure, setbacks in the classroom, or profanity shouted in my car while crossing the Fort Pitt Bridge, it was worth while for the life long lessons I have taken away with me from this educational experience. I highly recommend to any educator, artist, or person to put yourself outside of your comfort zone. Enter a class room, whether an instructor or student, and stay flexible, open-minded, and willing to adapt. This will make your transition into any new adventure an effortless one. As my first go at a consistent teaching schedule, I look forward similar opportunities in the future.
I'd like to say a huge thank to you Chatham University's Program Development Coordinator, Alicia Danenberg, who without her, this camp wouldn't be as nearly as big as a success for both the staff, and the campers.
For anyone who would like to see more information on the camp, please follow the link below:
Thanks for reading!