Studio space can be something that either limits or enhances my lessons. Take, for example, the studio space that I have for my ceramics class. There is a double sink big enough for 4 students at a time, several huge table, 15 pottery wheels, and a slab roller for rolling slabs. This enables me to teach both slab building and throwing pottery. It allows me to let the students all clean up their own mess, without me having to do it afterwards.
However, a bad studio space or classroom can be extremely limiting. My classroom at P.S. 154 is small and it is also a fully functional kindergarten classroom that is occupied up until exactly 5 minutes before I get there. This is the least ideal situation I have ever had to work in and it presents many problems. Of the many, I don’t have time to set up. Additionally I have to stay afterward and re-stack chairs, move back the tables I’ve moved and sweep. Earlier I talked about the importance of having students clean up their own mess. In my Art Around the World class at P.S. 154 I do have students clean up their materials at the end of the lesson, but I never have them re-organize the room. It is not that I don’t want to make them it is that I already have them involved in setting up the room when they arrive that if I were to also have them re-set everything it would eat up all of our work time. So I stay after and that is that. It is what the space calls for. One positive thing I have discovered is that collabrative drawing are an excellent way to keep my students busy while I set out their materials.