Featured author: Mael Matthews
Mael Matthews has been an art and design secondary teacher for 18 years in the UK. He’s excited to be the head of learning art and design at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, one of the highest achieving schools in England.
We chatted with Mael about his experience teaching and being a successful TES author, and here’s what he had to say about:
What makes a good resource
A good teaching resource should be informative, stimulating, and easy-to-navigate. It should also allow for individual interpretation by both student and teacher. I think that prescriptive lessons should always be avoided because students should be encouraged to think for themselves and learn to problem-solve rather than simply recall facts and figures. They need to be creative thinkers who can adapt to our fast-changing work and education environments.
His motivation for publishing resources on TES
I am passionate about the need for the highest quality educational experiences. Every child passes through the education system just once and each day cannot be repeated. As teachers, we have a huge responsibility to engage students and help them unlock their full potential. It isn't just about teaching and learning facts, it's about teaching and learning how to learn and encouraging a joy of learning along the way.
A memorable story from his teaching career
As an art teacher, I’ve always had to fight to justify the validity of the subject. Some students, parents, and colleagues unfortunately view it as a lesser subject. On one occasion, a very able student was dissuaded from doing exam level art even though he wanted to because a senior colleague believed that art would not help him gain a place at medical school. He was very disappointed to be loosing art, so I argued his case with senior colleagues who eventually agreed to let him continue.
He produced an outstanding portfolio of work all based around medical conditions and it helped him gain a place at medical school because at the interview he had something no other student had. His art portfolio allowed him to demonstrate that he had a passion for the medical profession and he had explored this in a uniquely creative way. This success story brought a great deal of satisfaction and is a perfect example of how art and creativity cross the boundaries of every subject and every profession. After all, we need creative, problem-solving practitioners in every walk of life.
Are your students feeling stressed or anxious? This calming coloring book can be used with students of all ages to teach mindfulness. This book features beautifully drawn, original work by Mael. You can use it to teach younger students fine motor control and to help teach older students study skills. Take a break and enjoy this beautiful resource with your students.
This lesson plan provides a nice introduction to portraiture for middle school students. Beyond having them create portraitures of their own, the lesson plan encourages students to explore other examples of the genre and to think critically about the purpose of portraiture specifically and art generally. It also encourages collaboration with ample opportunities for group discussion.
This 35 page document will guide your students through the process of sketching natural forms. They will see their work evolve with guided steps from photography to sketches. Follow up questions are included so that students can imagine themselves as the artist. There is no doubt that this resource will get great results in your art classroom.