The students printed bubble wrap to make a background, sprinkled sand on the bottom, and cut and glued a fish on top. Here is something I wrote in the post:
I am too afraid to let Kindergarten students loose with bottled glue, so I put a squiggle of Elmer's at the bottom of their paper (students chose either horizontal or vertical layouts) and the students sprinkled sand. I bought a 50 lb bag of play sand at Lowe's for a few dollars and probably only used about a cup for over 100 students. I placed a little dish of sand at each table and after the sand was sprinkled, the students bent their paper to dump the excess sand back in the dish. I love the texture the sand adds to the artwork- it makes a nice tactile connection to the element of art.At the time, I didn't think there was anything wrong with this. Until I got a nasty comment telling me I should find a new career. I wasn't really "afraid" of bottled glue, I said that more as a joke. I didn't apply the glue because I wanted it to look perfect, I did it to save time and clean up with my back-to-back classes. The students told me what kind of line they wanted and I did a quick squiggle so they could get the fun part- sprinkling the sand! If I were to do this lesson again, now that I have more experience and confidence, I would probably just make sure I allowed time for the students to apply the glue. But, you live and learn. I understand the criticism, but my mom always taught me that you "catch more flies with honey." I would have responded much better to encouragement or constructive criticism. Wouldn't it have been nicer to say something like "don't be afraid of the glue bottle, the kids can handle it if you let them practice!" I know that's what I would tell 1st-year-teacher-me if I could go back in time. I hope that I always remember to say things out of love and never just to make people feel bad.
*Maybe I can clarify... I'm not looking for a pity party or saying that comment still haunts me or anything. It definitely wasn't a "comfortable" comment to read. But after I got over the surprise of it, it did make me think. The point is that we should be kind to others, including ourselves and forgive our past "mistakes".
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to your first year of teaching?