What on Earth am I Doing?

In they come.

Straight after lunch, full of enthusiasm, questions and quite possibly a lot of sugar!

Putting on aprons is a task and a half, tying bows behind their backs is a skill we are working on. Someone squeals and appears to do a little dance on the spot waving their arms around.

The cause of this? ‘Some kind of hideous slime is on me!!!!’ ‘SNOT!’  ‘Someone’s sneezed all over you!’ ‘Oh, my God. That’s gross!’

‘It’s wallpaper paste, everyone calm down.’ Unfortunately, the paste saga would continue throughout the lesson. Year eight do not clear up well.

And so. Go big or go home.

Printmaking with year sev
en. Twenty-eight, year sevens who can’t tie their aprons.

Here we go anyway.

The explanation, the demonstration, the checking they understood the explanation, the any questions? The double checking that they understood the demonstration. The exaggerated pointing to the clearly labelled equipment stations and the A3 instruction sheet on each table (with diagrams) that we have just followed.

Sometime later…

Despite; re instructing, re explaining, re seating, I have become the Pied Piper and have a stream of students following me, it’s a large stream and is holding multiple ink covered papers. My apron is to protect me from my work, not effective if the work is attacking from the side. They don’t know who the Pied Piper is.

But.  They are proud.

Proud of their first print picture, smudged in places, faint in some and over loaded in others. We won’t mention the finger prints. Then they are off to try again.

We now have a surreal conga line as I walk around the classroom. An inky, slightly wallpaper pasty in places, conga line. They ask me if I’m claustrophobic, someone decides I’m kid-o-phobic.

Sometime slightly later…

Twenty-eight, year sevens learnt about printmaking, how do I know? Because they have all designed a print plate, made a print plate and printed their plate, except one, who borrowed my plate and wrote ‘TOP’ on the front, so now my Koi Carp has the word ‘qOT’ on its back.

The end is in sight. len They don’t want to stop. I sound more like Len Goodman on strictly every time I call ‘year SEVEN!’

They eventually stop, I suspect deploying my ink tube collectors first was a wise move.

The speed with which t
hey manage to untie their aprons is record breaking. They wash up at a snail’s pace.

I now have tables full of colourful images. The tiny drying rack is full. I’m going to need to construct a wool and paperclip style washing line, I should have thought of this sooner.

And we are done.

‘Can we do this next lesson!’

What, on earth, am I doing?

I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

Dawn Anderson.

Art Trainee.


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