Monday, March 9, 2009

NGMS Art Classroom and Courtyard

Notes from Interview with Ms. Anna Rumsey, Art Teacher

Northern Guilford Middle School


Ms. Rumsey says there are about 1,031 students at NGMS.  She teaches 12 art classes with all level of students.  There are some autistic students in her classes.


What she likes about the school:

·      High expectations for students achievement

·      Availability of supplies

·      Good relationship/communication with principle


Overall, Ms. Rumsey is satisfied with her classroom.  The lighting and temperature are adequate.  Sometimes it is cold when you sit near the air vents


Changes: If she could change some aspects of the room, they are:


·      Storage: could use wider shelves to hold large reams of paper.

·      Nowhere to store student work for her 12 classes.  Suggests shallow drawers that can be pulled out and used as bins

·      Need a sink specifically for handcapped students

·      Remove sink that is in island

·      Would like cabinets or counter surrounding white board where she can readily access examples

·      Needs a way to darken room when necessary

·      More windows

·      TV should be relocated; there is a glare and it is too far away

·      Need soap dispensers


Class transition:  There is a “bottleneck” effect when the 6th graders go to Encore classes.  The 6th grade has 300 students that pass through Encore hall and access lockers.  It is too crowded and there are only 5 minutes between classes.


She liked the idea of a graffiti wall and/or a personal art wall.  The students that take band cannot take art as well.  She knows of several students that wanted to take art and band.


She liked the idea of the courtyard becoming an extension of the classroom.  She would have class outside if there was somewhere for the students to sit.  She said, “the students will not sit on the ground because they do not want to get their clothes dirty.”  Some of the other teachers sometimes have class in the courtyards, such as the science classes and band practice.  The band occasionally has a concert in one of the courtyards.


She said that she needs something to tack up artwork for art shows.  When the band has concerts, she displays student work.  She said that people would not come to an art show at the school unless another activity, such as a band concert, is taking place.


She like the idea of having a place to show student work outdoors and have it protected from the elements and vandalism.  She said that other students destroy student work that is displayed in the halls.


She did not think having stools instead of chairs was a good idea because the students do not always pay attention to what they are doing.  Although she did like the idea of storage carts for art supplies with wheels that can act as seating outdoors.


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