Join me every Friday when I run down inspiring links and t’ings. Our current theme is “What have you done with your Gifts?”
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For the last four years I have been the facilitator of the art programme of Cancer Support Services Barbados. It has been such a wonderful experience and, in sharing what I know, I have received so much more in return.
In today’s Friday Five I’d like to share with you what I have learned by being the facilitator and instructor of a visual arts programme.
Insight 1: Make it a place where people want to come.
Art is a vehicle for self expression so there are no mistakes. Take care to create an encouraging and supportive environment where participants feel comfortable experimenting and discovering their innate creativity.
Insight 2: Be sensitive to student needs
The concept of fairness in the classroom does not mean treating everyone the same. It means giving them what they need to feel successful. Some students will need additional assistance and encouragement to “let their hair down”.
Insight 3: Enthusiasm is contagious–remember to bring yours!
Insight 4: Embrace guest teachers
One facilitator cannot know everything, so invite other artists to share their talents. In this way you are assured to incorporate the interests of the group into the curriculum. One of our most successful units was paper making and card making facilitated by a wonderful guest teacher.
Insight 5: Building and maintaining a successful programme takes time and commitment.
It takes time to build trust and to get to know people. It also takes continuous effort on the part of a facilitator to maintain interest and encourage participants to make art between classes. Take it from me, it is worth your best efforts. You will be rewarded beyond expectation.