Josh Hobbs came to Brigham Young University- Idaho Thursday, October 8th, to give a lecture about art education, focusing on five philosophies art teachers need to apply to their classroom.
Hobbs said the first philosophy is to connect students with the arts. Hobbs said he involves his students in art by having them share project ideas in the classroom, show off their artwork at district art shows, and attend PLC’s, professional learning communities where students can get additional help and insight.
According to the website of Educational Leadership, ascd.org, PLC’s goals are to ensure that students are learning, they are creating culture of collaboration, and focusing on the results.
The second philosophy is to have the kids create associations outside of school, Hobbs said. The third is to stay away from “School style artwork”, described as art only seen in schools and never in the outside world.
Hobbs said, “Every art project we approach… we’re going to approach [it] prehistorically.” He takes his students outside of the classroom by going to parks or attending art museums.
Hobbs said he will also bring in guest artists to re-energize the students about the arts. Hobbs said guest artists will teach the students specific styles or art that he is unable to.
The fourth philosophy is to never have a fixed, unmovable curriculum. Hobbs put up a slide which described the desired art curriculum to be one that requires time, a pace, and layers to actively respond to. This allows the interactions between students and teacher to be better, said Hobbs.
Hobbs also said, “Even though I make an outline of the year, I let them decide [where the curriculum is going]” and base it off of the student’s interests. He said when the students are interested and have a say in a subject, they will be more involved.
Hobbs said the fifth philosophy is for the teacher to be involved in their subject as well; whether the teacher is drawing alongside, showing their examples, or offering the students guidance on their art.
Hobbs said there is a balance to teaching in the art classroom. He said, “The fact is most of those kids aren’t going to take another art class,” so he focuses on making sure they have a good experience with the arts.
But there are also students who want to learn and continue in the arts. In order to keep both sides satisfied, Hobbs said that he pushes kids to do their best, but not too hard, in fear that they will burn out about the subject.
Students need high expectations, said Hobbs. With high expectations, the students will push themselves to do well.
As an educator, Hobbs said there is a line between becoming a dictator in the classroom and blending in with the students. In order to find a perfect balance, teachers must always be in control, but always “…kind, uplifting, and accommodating.”
Hobbs said to be aware that a workday isn’t with the starting and ending ring of the school bell. Hobbs said, “[I put] more than eight hours a day. I don’t like to come in early, but I stay late.”
According to the Washington Post, “On average, teachers are at school an additional 90 minutes beyond the school day for mentoring, providing after-school help for students, attending staff meeting and collaborating with peers. Teachers then spend another 95 minutes at home grading, preparing classroom activities, and doing other job-related tasks.”
Hobbs said “I’m not filling out a rubric as I grade.” Instead, Hobbs sorts the images out from best to worst, then looks at the student’s name and compares the art assignment tot previous artwork, grading on improvement.
Hobbs attended Brigham Young University- Idaho as a student, graduating with a studio and art education degree. After graduating, he taught at a middle school in Utah, while receiving his masters at Brigham Young University in Provo. He is currently an art teacher at Hillcrest High School in Idaho Falls.