When my assistant principal was conducting my end-of-year evaluation, we had a meaningful conversation about my classroom environment. She has observed my classroom and the transition to TAB over the past eight years. She has a very good understanding of what my classroom is.
Colorado’s teacher evaluations consist of a rubric with four standards. To obtain a higher score, the observer will have to see what the students are doing. I feel like I am at an advantage with this rubric because of my learner-driven environment. I asked my assistant principal
if she thought I can score higher because my classroom is student-directed. She replied that my classroom is the way it is because of ME.
(Here is a snippet of the Colorado Teacher Rubric)
This got me to thinking…what does it mean to be a TAB teacher?
First and foremost, remember that Teaching for Artistic Behaviors is a philosophy. It consists of three sentences: 1) What do artists do? 2) The child is the artist. 3) The classroom is the child’s studio.
I believe that the student is the artist. I try my best to push aside my personal aesthetic and ideas to honor the students’ ideas, aesthetics, and style.
I admire my students’ process and guide them along the art making journey.
But…this does not mean that I am always in full choice mode. I believe in maintaining a classroom with good management. I know that works best with a gradual release idea when opening the studio for my students. (And, occasionally, I do have those things that I need to do for assessments or the school.)