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Re: A little sensitive right now..

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Apr 02 2002 - 14:14:11 PST


> Perhaps this is going on in many places. I am dealing with a slashed program
> and have been in tears constanly for the past three weeks. The choir program
> in our school is growing by leaps and bounds and my program is falling
> apart...after 22 years....I do not feel supported by my administrator, think
> many decisions have allowed this to happen. I wish I could have gone to the
> National Conference. How does one survive this? I am considering
> counseling.....retirement is not an option for 4 years....I never thought I
> would be looking forward to that day!

Oh
I feel like whoa is me, whoa is me...

I'm a high school teacher depending on selection of art as an elective. For
the past 2 years I've watched it dwindle and dwindle. It's not that we
aren't doing our job.

I hear the kids, when it comes to course selection time, asking each other
what's an easy class to take?
My art courses aren't so "easy." We require thinking and work. Yet kids
are selecting courses, that I suspect have been designed to maintain numbers
without the thinking and work. I am loosing kids in significant numbers to
courses in that I consider "fluff."

I'm not willing to sacrifice my standards to maintain the numbers.

There has been all kinds of writing and research about the importance of
the arts and in that research there is nothing that I disagree with
------
Yet I wonder how we maintain
when kids seem to get a message of getting through with the least amount of
work.

I consider myself an artist first. I know the struggle.. I know the work.
I know the thinking required.
I just don't know how to compete with Home Ec courses that offer what I call
Microwave Popcorn-- just because the kids don't want to think and work

I don't know how to keep the kids in Art. I won't sacrifice intent and
content and all we so dearly hold in regard as to what art is.

Perhaps in trying to maintain our standards as to the importance of the arts
---- we have come up with standards that are not so easily maintained.
Perhaps as long as we remain an elective area we need to reexamine our
standards. Perhaps those that saw the standards as a reinforcing agent need
to get back into the classroom and reexamine what it is that is going on in
kid's minds. Perhaps we should not think that we can make every kid an
artist or even an art connesoiur.

Perhaps our ideals are just too lofty

Patty

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