One day I taught Arts at a classroom of 43 students of a secondary school. The unit was painting practice. Two weeks before I asked the school to prepare materials for the class, but as usual, it is not possible to fulfill what I asked. Besides the school doesn’t have enough funds to pay all of its operation cost, its priority on ideological, religion and science subjects drives to ignore Arts. Then I informed the students to bring materials and tools for practicing of painting themselves.
The period of the class was third on timetable, and whole time for the class was 2 times 45 minutes. After greeting and warming the students up with last subject unit I tried to introduce new subject: painting. I asked them to check how far they know about painting, I explained how so far people make it, I hoped they learned and would find some new ways to paint by themselves. I asked students whether they understood, they said everything was clear enough. Then I explained an assignment they had to do, and they said they understood it too.
Some of them got their equipments out of their bags soon. Some talked, some didn’t do anything, just saw what their friends did. Might be they were thinking the assignment or tried to catch an inspiration of what to draw. I sat on my chair to do other jobs. For half an hour the class went busy, the students started working, I heard sound of pencils or crayons stretched on the paper, sound of water stirred with brushes and their conversation. Suddenly, a girl shouted, “That’s mine, that’s mine give it back!”, she ran after a boy. They crashed tables and their friends, the class went noisy. Hah, what’s going on? I tried to pay attention at the class more serious and observed them closer. I thought something wrong with them. I tried to calm the class down and walked along the paths between rows of tables where they draw on. I asked them to write their names on their paper and finish it after the class. I checked their painting one by one, at last I find six students (boys) didn’t do the assignment. I asked them where their work of art, and they said they didn’t have because they hadn’t bought the materials for painting. So, “What have you done for thirty minutes?”, I asked them strongly. Some of them were silent and didn’t answer my question. Others said they wanted to buy paper soon at school shop. I allowed them to prepare what they need to paint and suggested them to do the assignment quicker because the time would be over.
Now, I always check their materials and equipment before holding every practiced units of Art to make sure my lesson plans work like I want. Students always do strange thing, but by checking it first I understand their understanding about their word “understand”.