Fine arts teachers have been forced to switch their curriculums to online platforms due to the recent pandemic.

Fine arts classes have traditionally been taught entirely in person, but these teachers are taking on the new online platform. This is to meet the new regulations enforced by the ACSD1 schoolboard following the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I have changed the way I teach by giving out students more art enrichments then art creating assignments,” LHS Art Teacher Justin Deegan said. “I have provided my classes with an assignment menu which allows them to be creative in a variety of ways. Options like art creating, deep looking at art, cultural art research, artist inspired creations and even art for a therapeutic outlet. I miss seeing the process of creation and for me that takes a lot of the fun out of being an art teacher. I love witnessing the power of creation.” 

Teachers feel this change may have a negative effect on students. Some students don’t have access to the supplies that they previously had in the space provided by the school.

“[Online classes have a] negative effect on student’s ability to learn through the connection of peers and teachers. Positive effects through practicing self-discipline, practicing adapting to new things and learning how to use the computer in a more career-style format,” Deegan said.

 Despite the setbacks, the changes these students now face might also have a positive effect on their ability to adapt and learn. This situation is helping some students find new ways to create with what they have at home; these lessons will help them throughout their lives especially if society continues to face situations like COVID-19.

“I really think this situation will have a positive impact on their learning and on their creativity.  Creativity has gone way up because students have to be creative in figuring out how to make art with what they have at home,” LHS art teacher Rebecca Watson said.

If threats like COVID-19 keep effecting the world, online learning might be the new normal. These teachers have only been teaching online for a few weeks and they know what they would change if they had to continue long term on this platform. 

“I would continue online teaching if I have too or if it’s to smaller groups of students,” Deegan said. “I really miss seeing the creative process, brainstorming with them and helping guide them through their blockages as they work. I do really like the Canvas platform as an enhancement to what the classroom already has in place and will continue to use it once we are back in the classroom. But I’d prefer to be in class with students.”

Online teaching is a new process for nearly everyone, especially those in the world of teaching art. As in any situation like this some have hope for the platform and some would rather things return to the way they once were.

“I think learning art online works well for the most part,” Watson said. “I think it will work better and better the more I figured out the ins and outs of teaching online.  I can see a lot of potential in it. I’m also a lot more confident in using Canvas now, I think I will continue to use it even when we go back to school.”

While Watson has become more comfortable with online teaching, Deegan would like to return to the classroom sooner rather than later. He feels that online learning does not provide the proper resources or creative space necessary for his classes.