I felt very long-winded in my last post about DPAS II, so I am going to summarize a lot more and use more headings. Time is always short and I believe less is more. I wish the writers of this evaluation system agreed.
Component Two: Classroom Environment
This component focuses on how you set up, organize, and run your classroom on a daily basis. Overall, the more student centered you make your classroom, the better your scores on the Criterion rubric will be. Directions and procedures should be posted and when asked, students should be able to explain the directions and procedures. This component has four elements which I will explain in this order of appropriateness for art teachers.
2c: establishing a Culture for Learning
This element makes sense and is something that every teacher should strive to create.
2d: Organizing Physical Space
Some elements are optional and this one tends to be popular because the teacher cannot control where they teach. I do think however that it gives schools a pass. If the art teacher is on a cart or doesn’t have access to a sink it should be noted somewhere. Some administrators are unwilling to look outside the box and find better teaching situations and if no one speaks up, process cannot be made.
2b: Managing Student Behavior
This is a big one and it really focuses on the individual students which is good, but challenging for a teacher who teaches hundreds of kids with little to no assistance. I believe the criterion rubric is harsh for elementary art teachers and rubric should be modified to fit different teaching situations.
2a: Managing Classroom Procedure
This is my BIG ONE for this component. I was put on expectations for this a few years ago because my administrator did not understand my content area. Clean up time is an important part of every art class. Clean up time is usually at the end of class, but it is a part of the learning process. To be a successful creator ones has to be able to use media correctly and clean up when finished. My administrator considered clean up a waste of instructional time which is mentioned on the criterion rubric over and over again. Clean up is instructional time. I had to create a crazy system where I cleaned up the room and the students did sponge activities. I hated it and tried to explain the learning involved and my reasoning was dismissed due to ignorance of the visual arts. To be proficient here, I would post all routines, procedures, and repeated transitions even if not in use that day.
Take away: Administrators should be trained about the differences between a grade level class and a content area class. Maybe we should be observed by an specialists in our field too. Teachers remember students should be able to explain your classroom environment when asked. Practice this and ask your students. Your classroom should look good and be functional for everyone. Stay Tuned!