What is the Art Docent Program?
An Art Docent is a parent volunteer who leads hands-on art lessons designed to encourage creative thinking while introducing art history and famous artists. The focus of this program is on visual art, drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media. Each lesson should result in a finished project, a piece of art. It is our goal to reinforce the key art concepts such as color, texture, line, composition etc. The docent doesn’t need an art background, only an enjoyment of art.
What is the curriculum?
We have a library of past lessons, by grade, that have worked well with our school curriculum. They can be found under Lesson plans and there are hard copies and examples in the art room files. These lessons have been gleaned from several sources: the Northshore School District Art Docent curriculum, the Redmond Art Docent curriculum, on-line sources, from other docents and our own ingenuity.
What is the role of the classroom teacher?
Generally, the teachers make the time available for docents to do their thing and then they help with classroom management. However, it is a good idea to ask your teacher directly what their expectations for the art docent program are, or what role they want to play on the day of lesson. This is not expected to be a break or prep-time for the classroom teachers. In the past, we have encouraged recruiting as many other class parents or other docents to help out as needed. We try to have 6-12 docents per grade.
How long is a lesson and what do we cover?
Lessons are 45 minutes to an hour. Docents structure their time differently but it is important to at least include time to discuss the work of the featured artist and to give the children one or two hands-on activities. It is valuable to give the students time to share their finished work with each other, either at the end of the lesson or after the art is hanging up. Remember each child is showing a unique solution to the same problem.
Where do the lessons take place?
In the classroom
What resources do we have available?
The Shorewood Print Collection is a collection of large, laminated prints. This year, we also have high quality paper in white and black as well as card stock. There are other supplies in the art room, paint, markers, etc. but you should always check before any lesson to see if we have what you need. There are many useful, age-appropriate books in the school library. The room has a document projector. Also, the school owns a kiln.
What is the budget and how do I get reimbursed for expenses?
There are lots of supplies in the art room but if you need additional materials you may be reimbursed by filling out a PTA Reimbursement Form. If you are interested in buying equipment, please check with the coordinator first, to verify funds.