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re: Elementary workload and schedules etc. ARGHHHHH !

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From: Christine Besack (mrsbeeswax_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Apr 08 2003 - 04:03:02 PDT


Hi All, (and Christine Merriam)
    I teach Elementary Art 1-5 at two public schools about 1/2 mile form each other.
One school Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday am only, this year I have 13 classes 40 minutes each.
Second school Wednesday pm, Thursday and Friday, I have 15 classes, 40 minutes each.
The school populations have varied greatly in the 10 years I have been teaching at these same two schools.
Many years I had 7 classes each day, except for my switch day ( Wednesday).
This made for many many late nights after school, cleaning up and grading, putting up displays.This year with the lighter class schedule, I leave about 1/2 hour after the normal time. With my extra time in the schedules this year, I can take kids for extra art time, a reward for behavior chart success, or a self esteem builder for some.
I also do Art Clubs at my two buildings in the Spring, after school on day a week from 3:40 to 5:10 they run about 8 -10 weeks).
I know that leaving your job may not be an option for you, but that seems like a tremendous amount of children for one teacher to adequately service.
I see about 600 children a week, but have been up to about 750 when they had 6th grade in the elementaries. (They now go to Middle school.)
As for class time, anything shorter than 40 minutes would be very hard also.
One major thing to ask about this position is,
DO you see it getting any better ??
I can pass along your question about times to my colleagues in PA if you want more ideas about how their time is broken up.
(just email me if you want me to pass along your email to others to respond directly to you )
Strong unions are such a blessing when it comes to minutes per day and prep time.
If you feel that you must take this position, ask for a PTO or PTA squad of helpers to put up displays, get students to assist you before classes and after classes.
Will you also be expected to do an Art show ??
How many yearly displays will you be responsible for ? \What do other elementary schools in your area do ??
Call the superintendent (or art supervisor ) of surrounding districts and see what they have their elementary specialists do ?
If you go back to your district with facts, it will help your case.

Are you a member of NAEA ? If so try contacting them for stats on elementary class loads.
Also talk to your state art association (I'm not sure what state you are in ? )
I would have them purchase an art textbook series so that you do not have to also invent the entire curriculum.
AS YOU WILL NOT POSSIBLY HAVE ANY PREP TIME TO CREATE THIS !
(unless they want to pay you workshop days over the Summer to write curriculum.
Make sure you will have an adequate budget dollar amount per child.(check the archives for this info as it is discussed yearly)
Email me privately if you want more help with gathering information.
 It really burns me when schools try to spread teachers too thin to save money !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TELL US WHAT THE PLUSES ARE TO STAYING AT THIS SCHOOL, YOU'VE ALREADY TOLD US THE TREMENDOUS MINUSES THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT INFLICTING ON YOU !
  
Stay in touch,
Christine Besack :)

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