This is my third year teaching at Clinton High School. It is my hope that all students come willingly to my classroom to learn and further their talents. I love to draw and create a variety of art and crafts. I also love to learn new things so that I am constantly adding new skills to my "tool set". I hope my students learn like a FARMER! More to come on that one! Stay tuned!
In my class our motto is “Learn Like a Farmer, Live Like a Cowboy!” We started off with "Frame of Mind". It is my hope that each student come to class, be it mine or any other teacher's class, in the frame of mind to learn, to be open to new ideas, and to have a cooperative attitude. Setting one's frame of mind to a task is the first step in conquering something! "Attitude" is the second step to the FARMER process. One of my favorite saying is, Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference,". I hope my students come to class with a cooperative attitude and a willing heart to learn art. Next is "Respect". I hope to impart the importance of respect to my students. Respect for others in their ideas, their self, and their feelings. Respect for authority in that there will always be someone who you need to answer to, either another being or themselves! Respect for a persons’ self is to make good choices to further you in life and not to undermine your destiny through poor education or bad choices with drugs or alcohol. The M in FARMER is " Malleable". Farmers have to change with the technology, regulations, and new methods of farming. If something is not working for you, change the way you approach it or do it. If you are struggling in a class and you have studied the same way you have always studied, maybe you need to change your approach! The E is my favorite, "Enthusiasm"! Farmers have to love what they do because a lot of times, the pay isn’t that great. It is my hope that students come to class enthusiastic to learn art! No matter what you are doing, even if it is a chore that you don't like to do, if you approach it in an enthusiastic way with energy and spirit, not only will it get done sooner, but you might enjoy it a bit! Sometimes school can get you down but if you put a smile on your face and you lift up your head, it will not seem so bad. The second R is “Resilince”. Resilience means to overcome after something bad happens. Bad things are just going to happen, that is just life, but the ability to bounce back after those events are the mark of a strong person. Like a FARMER after a bad crop year, he doesn’t just quit, he plants a crop the following year and not give up! Students today need to learn this trait.
If you put all the first letters of the the words of the week you get the word "FARMER"! I posed the question to my students, "Do you like to eat?" To which they replied, "YES!" I explained that to eat you either had to grow your own food or you had to buy the food. So if you can't be a farmer, you should learn like a FARMER and incorporate all these practices so that you can learn as much as you can while in school to insure that you can make a good living thereby enabling you to provide for yourself and your family in the future. Prepare your Frame of mind, be Attentive, Responsible, Malleable, Enthusiastic, and Resilient! Be a FARMER! Preparing for the future is what we need to do now! Much like a farmer prepares the ground to plant the seeds in the Fall that will grow and be harvested in the Spring, students need to be vigilant in preparing themselves, learn and practice good habits to insure success in their future! Failure to prepare is preparing for failure! I want all my students to be ready to contribute to society in a postive and knowledgable way!!!
Now let's add - "Live Like a Cowboy"! Live like a Cowboy means honoring the Code of the West. We live in the West so might as well live by the code! The Codes are: “Live Each Day with Courage!” It is my hope that my students are prepared enough to be courageous and confident to live their best lives. “Take Pride in Your Work!” Whatever you may have as a task in front of you give it your 110%! “Always Finish What You Start!” Be responsible with your school work and complete it to the very best. “ Do What Has to be Done!” If it is your responsibility, grit your teeth and get it done. Sometimes life brings things we don’t really want to do but once you finish that task, it feels so much better to have it accomplished. “Be Tough, But Fair!” Being easy on students does not push them to be their best. My favorite English teacher was the toughest teacher I ever had because he challenged me. I shared the story of the thicker library books with my class. “When You Make a Promise, Keep It!” No one likes to be lied to so if you say you are going to do something, make sure you keep your word. Other people are depending upon your trustworthiness! “Ride for the Brand!” That doesn’t mean blindly follow but do what is best for the whole group or the institution of which you are a part! “Talk Less, Say More!” People usually listen to those who are wise to listen to others before they make an informed statement! “Remember that Some Things are NOT for Sale!” Integrity is important, don’t do things just because it is the easy way out or the easy money. “Know When to Draw the Line!” Enough is enough! Some people will push until they break you, stand strong in your beliefs and character.
Every hour I send my students out with these words, " Have a good day, be good, behave, stay out of trouble! It is easier to STAY out of trouble than it is to GET out of trouble!”
This is my 30th year to teach! I still enjoy sharing the passion of creating art with my students and friends. It is my hope that all my students go forth to be productive and active citizens within any community they choose.