Over the course of the Fall 2022 semester, I have participated in an internship at ACH Clear Pathways in their art program. My overall goal for this semester was to use my internship experience to determine how I – as a future high school English teacher, could better include and implement creative art forms within my future classroom. However, during my time at ACH Clear Pathways, I learned so much more than I anticipated.
I was originally inspired to implement creative arts into my class lessons and unit plans as a way to provide my future students a break from the constant reading, writing, and analyzing that is often present within the high school English classroom. However, after my time at ACH Clear Pathways, I have realized that creative assignments can also enhance the information presented. These assignments can provide an introduction, an opportunity for reflection, or as a fun review alternative to studying. For example, a creative activity applied to the beginning of a poetry unit could enhance the concept that poetry is an outlet of expression and a written form of art.
In addition to using creative assignments to enhance the student’s understanding of the information or concept, the creative arts can help formulate a stringing classroom environment. While attending ACH Clear Pathways, all the art students were incredibly close and appeared comfortable with one another when creating, interacting, and talking. The positive ACH Art Room atmosphere is most likely due to the teamwork the students consistently accomplish. When I eventually enter my own classroom, I want it to contain an environment where all my students feel free to express their opinions and ideas for discussion is an essential aspect of my teaching style. I hope to achieve this environment by implementing creative assignments that inspire teamwork similar to ACH Art Room art projects. Including creative art assignments within the lessons and units will allow students to build trust and relationships with one another, resulting in a more welcoming and communicative environment.
My time at ACH Clear Pathways has significantly impacted me as a future educator and mentor. Through my participation and observations within the Art Room, I learned essential knowledge on the methods, skills, and expected outcomes of implementing creative arts within the classroom. While I am sad that this semester and, in turn, my internship is coming to a close, I will never forget what I experienced, created, and, most importantly, learned at ACH Clear Pathways.