Wednesday, September 29, 2010

~ Gladys' first art lesson ~

Gladys has been telling almost everyone that she is going for an art class. She has been counting down the days since Sunday and is SO looking forward to it. Denver never had that kind of reaction when he goes for his Creative Play & Learn class 2 years back. I believe the difference is Gladys specifically wanted to go for the class versus we suggested the class for Denver.

There were already many children waiting outside of the classroom when we reached. Today is the start of a new class but it seems to me many children continued from their previous lessons. Most of them knew what to do and Gladys is probably the only new student (who seems lost) joining. Nevertheless, I'm glad that Gladys is brave and not shy at all as she sits through.

First lesson has been chaotic (at least in my perspective). I guess there was too much anticipation and I ended a little disappointed. I would appreciate if the teacher could orientate the parents with the children who just joined the class. Gladys was waiting at her seat not knowing what to do and poor Mommy (who was tired after a long day at work and feeling lost) tries to approach the busy teacher on what to do. The entire class was noisy but I managed to compose myself and observe what the other children are doing to follow suit.

For a start, the children are queuing up with a piece of paper in their hands. (It is half the size of a drawing block). I quickly asked Gladys to join in the queue too. The teacher will draw sketches of simple lines and shapes (faintly) on each paper and tells the child to trace over it when they get back to their seats.

There are basically 2 levels of students here. (A) for Advance and (B) for Beginner. The teacher will based on the child's level to determine which group they belong to and what they will draw. He will then goes to the white board and divide into A and B portion. The (A) drawings are much more complicated and the children in the Advance category will follow the (A) drawing and vice versa for the (B) group.

This is really a test of concentration and following instructions because there is simply no time to lose! Gladys was pretty lost and worse of all she sat too far away from the board to catch up with what the teacher is drawing!

After following through the first lesson with Gladys, this is pretty much how the lesson is run.

1) Children will trace the simple sketches drew by the teacher at the start of the lesson.
2) Following the teacher's step by step instruction on drawing from the basic sketch.
When the teacher says "Pencil", hold your pencil up and gets ready to draw. They will need to follow exactly what is drawn on the board. Whenever the child is unable to follow/draw a certain part, he/she can goes up and approach the teacher for assistance.
3) Following the teacher's step by step instruction on what colours to use.
The teacher will ask what colours he is using to colour the fish and the children will participate by answering. (Light green, Orange, Beige, dark yellow... etc). Luckily Gladys knows her colours very well to catch up.
4) Getting ready for water colours and painting.
Children needs to fill their little containers with water and follows instructions on what colours to paint.
5) In between the lesson, there is one toilet break. This is the time the children go to relief themselves. I saw Gladys following suit as she ran to the toilet, pee and ran back to class again by herself.

I won't be able to sit in for the following lessons as the teacher is only allowing parents to join in for the first class. It may take Gladys a few more lessons before she catches up. I'm not sure how confident she will feel as she did mention after her lesson that she is worried about not being able to follow up with the teacher. I hope this will not discourages her from enjoying her future lessons.

In fact, I think she did really good today on her first art lesson. She traced nicely and tried her best to see and follow what the teacher is drawing on the board. Gladys also displays a lot of effort to colour and paint her picture nicely. (I only feel it may be better if the teacher has been more encouraging. At times, he will comment that the child is drawing/colouring too slow and needs to speed up. This really sounds a bit pressing.)

Still, it is not all that bad. Through this lesson, apart from learning the basic drawing techniques, colouring skills, knowing more about colours, shapes and sizes, children also learns to be discipline, independent, pay attention to details and follow instructions. This might be a good training for Gladys in a certain sense and we will just have to see how it goes for the next few lessons.

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