A Look Inside the Classroom
The Art Studio
The New School Visual Arts Studio is about students discovering their artistic self-expression. It is the playful exploration of art media and materials. They are discovering what artistic methods and styles give them enjoyment and pleasure. Playing allows the student to be safe from judgment and at the same time, learn to be self-challenging. Play is the precursor to a student developing tolerance for, and even enjoying, hard serious work. Play gives the student confidence, skill, patience, and persistence to do meaningful and respected work. The more they enjoy doing their art, the more they will do their art, growing their artistic skills, and strengthening their courage. Courage increases their ability to say their truth, speak their mind, reveal who they are. They learn the delight of being satisfied and they learn the pathway out of boredom toward freedom and responsibility.
As master and steward of the Art Studio, I am a professional artist. I exemplify going deep in the understanding of myself, the students, and our world. I maintain the studio as safe and supportive. I gently push the students to be autonomous and self reliant, and delight in their cooperative, supportive community. I am a thoughtful resource for information and skills. I am humorous, playful, and curious.
Theatre Tech class has become a staple for The New School. Many students take this quarter-long course more than once and learn insightful skills in building, painting, sound, and lighting. These efforts were showcased in The Outsiders (Christopher Sergel), Kennedy’s Children (Robert Patrick), and Almost Maine (John Cariani), past productions at The New School.
Some of our students are currently working alongside outside theatre companies, and it is their experience in this class that has given them the confidence to pursue expanding their knowledge. Students are now excited to experience the new equipment that has been procured for the Theatre. The new lighting will enhance students’ ability and experience and allow them to be able to experi-
ment more in this focused area.
Theater & Social Studies Teacher
The Essay: Arguments That Matter
In The Essay: Arguments That Matter, students read and analyzed classic (and less-known) essays in a readers and writers workshop setting. During the first quarter, students read and wrote classic essay forms, including argumentative, personal, and Modest Proposal. During the second quarter, they chose their own topics and wrote four self-directed essays. Throughout the semester, students used the writing process–prewriting, drafting, conferring, revising, editing, and publishing–and by the end of the semester, students improved their skills in all
areas of essay writing.
English & Social Studies Teacher
As part of the yearlong celebration of German- American friendship, titled Wunderbar Zusammen, our German classes were invited to participate in a special guest workshop to honor the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus school of design. Under the auspices of the German Department of State and the Goethe Institute, on April 4, 2019 our German students met a professional German digital designer, Dirk van Manteuffel.
After an enlightening, very visual presentation about the design principles, products, and international influence of Bauhaus (in German!), he led the students in a hands-on activity. Students worked in teams of two to design an aesthetically pleasing but functional chair using limited resources: a pair of scissors, a postcard sized piece of stiff paper, 2 paper clips, 2 straws, 2 rubber bands, and 2 envelope fasteners. After finishing their prototypes, they presented their designs. Herr van Manteuffel gave feedback on the pros and cons of each design, showed them a cool assembly trick, and then sent them back to work out another design. It was exciting to see how the students integrated their art, math, science and German language skills in this workshop!
Music, Drama, English, & German Teacher
Math in Art
Math and Art seem to be two very diverse topics. The purpose of this Math in Art course was to help the students appreciate the fact that mathematics is not just about equations and logic, but also about patterns, symmetry, structure, and beauty in nature and art. It was a pleasure to guide the students in realizing how
nature has integrated these two disciplines so well. The students investigated the Fibonacci Sequence, the Golden Ratio, Fractals and the Mandelbrot Set through the play of numbers in nature and man-made objects, Bezier curves through string
art, theorems involving folding papers to precise measurements through origami, and quilting.
Math & Science Teacher
I have been offering Bridges as a level one physics class for years, and it never fails to engage and excite students. The curriculum consists entirely of unique weekly challenges followed by authentic assessment; we stress each student’s Bridge to the breaking point. The iterative process of challenge/ build/break sends a great message to kids that nothing is perfect, and trying out new ideas is fun and fruitful. The interdisciplinary nature of the work (designing, drafting, assembling) means that every student coming through the door has a skill at some aspect of the course, yet sees meaningful avenues for improvement. The camaraderie of New School students makes for a friendly and supportive environment with good-natured competitiveness.
Physics & Music Teacher
Senior Program Coordinator
Class of 2002
The 3D printer gives students the ability to explore more design opportunities. Students have created a
wide variety of things, from models of diseases to birdhouses and other products that they can develop.
Students have been able to learn new programs to enhance their learning.
Theater & Social Studies Teacher // Theater Director