In a message dated 04/02/2002 1:44:32 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> 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!
> Any advice would be appreciated. (I have been painting!)
Can you seek support from parents? Perhaps there are parents of gifted or
artistically talented students who can band together and would be willing to
go to the administration in behalf of the art program. In my experience over
the years, in three different school districts, there has been one common
denominator- PARENTS! They are the ones who pay school taxes and the
salaries of even the administrators. Powerful, those parents are! I suggest
you get those parents- the PTA- solidly behind you.
I have a feeling that part of the agenda of the National Music Educators
Association is to push to keep music in the schools, at all costs. As a
result, when push comes to shove, it's often music over art. So sad, as the
kids should have both. That's why it's vital to try to keep art in the
forefront with lots of exhibits. Can you take this approach?
In New York, music education has NYSMA "ratings". Students are selected to
participate by playing a piece outside of school and are then scored. Real
big deal- kids go for private lessons and practice, practice, practice for
this. The New York State Art Teachers Association has instituted our art
answer to NYSMA called The Portfolo Project. Students, Grades 4-12 are
"selected" to participate in an adjudication of their art. They present a
portfolio to a committee. Elevates the importance of making art. Does your
state have anything like this?