Art at DHS transitions to hybrid

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Abby Campbell, Feature Editor

    With many De Soto High School classes being partially completed at home this semester, one subject that has had to make a large adjustment is art. Despite the unprecedented situation, art teacher Sheila Wilkins has maintained her confidence.    

     Before coming to teach art at De Soto, Wilkins taught art for nine years online, putting her at an advantage compared to other staff members. 

    “How to structure learning for students in a remote environment is something I am familiar with,” Wilkins said. 

    Wilkins has set up her art students’ schedules on a weekly routine. Assignments that include online lectures are completed at school as well as tasks that are independently done at home on online days. 

    “I do think about which ones I want to do with me and which ones I think they will be able to do on their own,” Wilkins said. “Learning new art techniques would be with me [in the building] and doing something like an outdoor sketch they could do at home.”

    Because students are partially at home, every class has been provided a bundle of items.. For example, Art 1 students have received colored pencils, markers, water colors, pastels, brushes, a drawing pencil set and a variety of papers. 

Additionally, Painting classes are provided acrylic paints in place of colored pencils, providing students with a variety of acrylic mediums and water-based oil paints to use on canvases. 

Because of the new online structure, Wilkins provides a variety of ways art students can still be learning different techniques, even when they are not present in class. 

    “I make screencasts of myself and post those on Canvas announcements for students. I also do demonstrations in class or on Zoom calls of painting while on camera,” Wilkins said. 

    Art students are also adapting to the transition to online learning, one of many including freshman Gabby Wiltfong. 

“It is a lot harder to look at examples to branch off of for your work,” Wiltfong said. 

Despite the change in structure, Wilkins and other art teachers at DHS are doing their best to problem solve and make the best of these courses throughout the remainder of the hybrid learning model.