Teachers E-Course: Orientation

This program is designed to run for 5 X 2 hour sessions but if you are able to give them more than an hour to paint, that would be fabulous.

Structuring a long class period – 120 minutes – might seem like a long time but it has been broken down into a specific sequence of smaller parts which will help as you will see with the Teacher’s Lesson Sequence Schedule PDF. Each day will entail around 30 minutes of videos (Art demo, Contemplation and Meditation) which can be followed with an hour of painting, fifteen minutes for clean up and then 15 minutes for sharing. The beauty of this program is that you can implement a schedule that works for you so if you want to watch art video demos in the morning in your classroom and then have a painting session in the afternoon, you can.

Your subscription includes a fifteen minute Skype chat with me either before, if you have any questions, during (in the classroom with the students) or after the program completes to offer feedback. Just be sure to schedule it in at least a week in advance by emailing me at yinspirationart@gmail.com.

You have access to the course content for one year so you have the option to run the program several times if you like.


Before the Program Runs

  • Watch my “About” video so you are introduced to me. 3:04
  • Watch “Teacher’s Orientation” video 16:27 (below)
  • Review the “Art Supply” list and take inventory of what you need. Do you have a dedicated space where the supplies can stay set up for the week and be safely secured? Is there a sink in the room or nearby for clean up and filling water tubs?

You can recycle linoleum ends for art mats and paint scrapers to save money and have your students bring an old big t-shirt for their apron.

Setting up the Student’s Work Station

Each student gets: a work mat, folded paper towel, a yogurt tub of water between two stations, pencil, eraser, 2” foam brush, toilet paper rolls and bubble wrap for mark making.

Washing Up Station

Ask parents to donate yogurt tubs for the student’s work stations and you will need additional big buckets of soapy water for washing brushes at the end of class but a sink works best.

Blow Dryer Station

Blow dryers on a side table. This is so they can dry layers of paint or collage so pages don’t stick together.

Cutting Station

To set up, print off several sheets of each of the 8 PDF’s in your Teacher Orientation Resources list such as “Inspirational and Fun Collage Images” PDF and “Inspirational Quotes” PDF and have a ruler, an x-acto knife and/or scissors on hand with a cutting mat 2′ x 1′ underneath. You can use a piece of old linoleum for cutting too.

In my art demos I use acrylic paints, brushes, markers, large glossy paper plates, (avoid Styrofoam for the environment) and heavy duty 8.5 x 11 paper in case students want to make larger format paintings.

A hanging string to pin drying artwork would also be great so they can work on another piece.

Do a dry run of each of the writing and art activities and make samples so that you have a thorough understanding of the techniques as well as the right supplies. Give yourself the same amount of time you plan on giving your students so you create a realistic sample. It’s discouraging for students to compare their work that they had one hour to do that you might have taken two hours to do.

It is essential that foundational elements such as structure, support, preparedness and adult leadership (volunteer parents) be organized in advance to ensure you can give full attention to the needs of your students.

For setting up the e-course to run off of your laptop basically all that is required is an internet connection, laptop and a large monitor or projector set up. This online course does not include technical support for computers and hardware.

You will need to have:

  • Access to high speed internet
  • Email
  • Flash Player
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Internal or external computer speakers
  • A large projector screen and that hooks up to your computer
  • Laptop, tablet, desktop or phone with a camera

The Process

The Lesson Sequence Schedule PDF will guide you along each day with a list of themed videos which includes an art demo, contemplation and a meditation.

After the meditation has run, I let them work quietly as I table-hop around the classroom observing, checking, motivating, and helping them out if needed.

Facilitating Creativity

There are seven components to each day’s activities so be sure to have your class room assistants all on board for the transitions so they go smoothly and quickly. For a typical classroom size of 28 students, having two assistants or parent volunteers helping out will allow you to focus on setting up the next activity and they can focus on helping with art supplies, art problems etc.

  • Have students put their hands in their laps to watch the videos in other words no playing with art supplies.
  • 20 minutes before the class ends, each student is responsible for cleaning up their work area and returning all art materials in their proper places. Hopefully clean up can be finished in fifteen minutes, leaving you fifteen minutes for sharing and discussion.
  • Invite everyone to share insights, discoveries at the end of every session while making clear sharing is completely optional.

Tips and Rules

If the energy of the class starts out a little too unsettled, consider starting the class with five minutes of movement, ie: stretching, music and dancing to getting energy moving and spent.

Make an agreement with the students that what is shared in this room stays in this room. People’s art work and their sharing is not for repeating to another, judging upon or to say anything negative about someone else’s art. Everyone should only focus on their own art.

Tell the students not to post their art on the internet as it opens the door for the wrong kind of help, ie: trolls and their negative commentary.

Students should stop painting, and listen if someone starts to share.

The “Lesson Sequence Schedule” has been carefully planned but make your own choices as to what you feel fits your students best. If the meditation feels too long, fast forward the quiet parts.

Each lesson has an art project and once they have finished it they can continue doing any art they want along the same theme.

As we know, behaviours are contagious so don’t encourage group conversations about problem behaviours such as eating disorders, trauma, abuse as others might learn those behaviours. Instead recommend a counsellor visit.

After day one, the session can begin with a recap of the previous class topics.

Facilitating Creativity

Support risk-taking and exploration but sometimes there are hiccups.

Let them tell you what is happening, don’t assume you know. Repeat their verbiage back to them. Not only so you both get clear but it allows for acceptance that “I’m with you.”

Words you can use to facilitate creativity:

“Tell me what you did.”

“I noticed that you used a lot of…”

“You just aren’t done yet.”

“We aren’t here to make beautiful art, we are here just to explore and have an adventure.”

“The object really stands out.’

“I love seeing you so involved.”

“Wow, I wouldn’t have thought to do that.”

“I’m curious about…”

Words not to use:

“It’s pretty.”

Don’t cheerlead the piece, cheerlead the effort.

If you hear, “I suck at this. I can’t do art. I quit!”

You can respond with:

“Does that mean it’s not turning out like you pictured it in your head?”

“I can see how frustrated you are. What would help to get you less frustrated?”

“I love what you did because it came from you.”

“You feel like quitting, I get to that point too sometimes. What didn’t work? What don’t you like? Maybe take a break and walk around a bit.”

Ask specific questions: “Are you talking yourself out of doing this and why is that?” What is the emotion you are feeling? Let’s do this together… I’ll make a mark and then you make a mark. When you shut down, what do you feel?” There could be a fear or shame of making something ugly, shame avoidance or a self protective process at play.

If you see disturbing art or sharing such as on the subjects of self-harming, hurting others etc, you can say, “I’m glad you brought this up and I would like this conversation to happen privately with the counselor.”

Good general questions: What was that like for you? Did you learn anything new about yourself? What emotions did you feel? Did anything surprise you?

Membership benefits: Teachers and students are invited to subscribe on the Brave Art website to download the Mountain and Bubbles Meditation audio files for free which also gives subscribers early access to future free content and new programs.

Orientation Video : How I Set Up the Classroom and Prepare the Art Supplies