By: Thomas Faber

The Laramie High School 3D art and pottery class is taking the tier two schedule in stride. 

Unlike other classes, the current schedule makes in-class time more efficient and creatively driven.

Rebecca Watson, the pottery instructor at LHS, posts potting tutorials and instructional
videos for the student to interact with on virtual days.

This allows for maximized creativity and experimentation on the potter’s wheels.

It also makes the process of learning and applying skills more streamline with little loss of class time.

“The time that the students are in the studio they are given the opportunity to work and I
can act as more of a coach, aiding and giving them feedback,” Watson said.

This has created a positive and creative workspace that is optimized for students while they are in the building.

“It’s a very calm and enjoyable experience. We have more time to work on the artwork now than last year and it’s really fun,” Isabel Naschold, a second-year pottery student said.

With fewer students in the classroom at one time, there are more opportunities to experiment with throwing and sculpting.

“I feel like I am getting the same opportunity as I would on a normal year, if not more so because there are more wheels available and I have more time to throw,” Naschold said.

Another added benefit of the current schedule is with Fridays acting as Intervention and Enrichment, the instructor is given more time to fire pots, getting them back to the student quicker.

Nonetheless, like most classes, there have been changes to the teaching and learning process.

With sanitation being implemented regularly, students have been assigned their own set of potter’s tools.

This creates an environment where cross-contamination is limited.

“The main thing that has changed is how I distribute and think about materials and supplies to keep all students safe,” Watson said.

Further precautions have also been taken.

During the clay recycling process, bleach is added to ensure the elimination of any viral strains.

Also, with smaller class sizes, social distancing is more easily achieved.

Other precautions that occur regularly is an open-door policy and lots of hand washing.

This, however, has not affected the integrity and purpose of the class. 

Currently, students are working on the basics of throwing and getting used to a potter’s wheel, both in and out of school.

Everything is right on schedule according to Watson.

“I feel really good that we have been able to make the same amount of progress as we have in previous years.”

Naschold has already finished six pots and is continuing to improve, making the most out of her time in class.

Because art is a hands-on experience and discipline, both students and staff are glad to be back in building learning and teaching.

“I don’t think you can learn pottery unless you are physically working with the clay and it has been nice to be able to do that in person,” Naschold said.