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My experiences at the NAEA conference were largely positive. There were a
few sour grapes in some of my audiences, but those types are to be expected
when large groups gather. For example ...
If you can believe it, someone complained about the image on one postcard in
a packet of postcards I provided to them in a workshop. As I tried to
explain some complex rules for an art game, another teacher in a different
workshop muttered under her breath "get on with it." I was astounded at that
rudeness, but what can you say? Do you think that that teacher would put up
with such rudeness from her own students? I doubt it. And the real clincher
was the teacher who insisted on staying in one of my "for pay" workshops when
she had not paid the fee. How fair is that to those who do pay, especially
when Crystal Productions had underwritten the workshop and I was supplying
resources worth many dollars more than the fee that was paid?
Overlooking this kind of poor behavior (what we call being ugly in the South)
is what I did. It is usually a pleasure to be around art teachers --
regardless if they dislike the kinds of resources I supply, if they mutter
thoughtless remarks, or if they become angry over something out of my
control. Three rude teachers do not an organization make!
But, here's what I really want to say:
In discussing this idea of what was and was not presented at the conference,
NAEA is no more than the sum of the members. It is each member's obligation
to contribute to the success of the organization as well as to the success of
the annual conference. If the presentations and workshops this year did not
meet your needs, then you need to change that. You need to submit proposals
to present the types of workshops that you want to attend. Almost all of the
presentations and workshops are presented by NAEA members. I applaud
everyone who takes the time to submit proposals and present. Just be
prepared for those occasional sour grapes.
And by the way ... congratulations to Sharon Henneborn from NJ. Your
acceptance speech at the elementary luncheon was inspirational.
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