Wednesday, February 17, 2010

chalk murals

wella wella wella -

These are some photos of the chalk murals I did in the classrooms at my placement at Bloorview Nursery School - High Park. I'm real happy with them, particularly when we were discussing the new tiger one and one of the girls in our class said "What happened to the boat?" Well, sweetheart, don't worry. It's still in the other classroom...all chalkboards are not the same chalkboard.

This is the Tiger I did for Chinese New Year - I peeled away the blue corro-tint to find a green chalkboard wreckage beneath. It was covered in tape and the sticky remnants of some teacher's great idea. It took the better part of an hour, a scraper, goo-gone, two steel-wool pads and a shit-load of elbow grease to get the gummy residue off, and leave an easily chalkable surface. I'm happy to say I feel like it was worth it.

Because sidewalk chalk is so light, and doesn't come really in black, I had to get inventive -- and erasing the tiger's stripes worked really well.

This other mural I did in the classroom we were in at the time, when the kids were captivated by pirates and treasure. It was pretty gratifying to hear the kids talking about mermaids and islands a couple of weeks after it was up - amazing what enters the kids' stories.

I was a bit more aware of my language today - that is going to be an ongoing thing. Good thing it's so worth it, and awesome, and I'm into it. It's a challenging thing, though, and being aware in that way of how I'm speaking and framing things takes a lot of effort. I talked about it with Isabel, who said she'd be happy to back me up if I'll do the same for her. She framed it as having an inside voice and an outside voice, and letting your inside voice say what it needs to -- "NO!" "Don't do that!" or "Hey, buster, don't sit on the table!" -- IN YOUR HEAD -- and translate it into your outside voice saying "Hey, friend, it looks to me like you're thinking of sitting down. Let's go get a chair or a beanbag instead." Awesome. Demanding. Fake-sounding? A little, but I think that's just the constructed clarity and intensified intent that grates on my ear. Practice that for say, ten years or so, and it oughta come out more naturally. It's a good goal to point towards, anyway.

Always learning, even when it feels against my will! Positive attitude, check. Sense of humour, check. Loads of stuff to do, check. Groan!



  1. WHAT! Ok, I'm officially MAD jealous of your art skills. I am still struggling with NOT drawing stick figures... WAAAAAAHHHHH!

  2. dear noah, you are perhaps one of my biggest heroes.
    just saying.

  3. Oh my goodness - those are amazing. I am so glad you visited my blog and introduced yourself.

    Goodnight nerd:)

  4. Thanks everyone for your real nice comments!
    Halpey1 - stick figures are awesome!
    lspn - you too
    Deborah - thanks for coming over! And thanks for all your inspiring work at your blogs.

  5. Incredible Noah! Wow!

    You're right about the language thing. It takes awhile before it becomes natural. It took me a couple years of imitating another teacher before I learned how to make it my own.