This is a sticky situation, to say the least. But during my first year
teaching middle school art, my principal did something very similar making a
remark about the poor quality of the lesson I had done...and it hurt my
feelings. Thank goodness he didn't say it in front of the students.
I thought about it...and I finally went to him and asked him if I could talk
to him. He could tell I was upset...and I told him that what he had said
really hurt my feelings and that not all students could perform as high as
others. The lesson I had used was one that was used by all the middle
school art teachers in our county.
He apologized profusely and told me that the remark just "came off the top
of his head" without any thought. And after that, I was able to express my
feelings to him at any time about anything. It was the beginning of a great
teacher/principal relationship and we both always respected each other and
each other's opinions.
> My principal came into my eighth grade, year-long classroom yesterday, and
> within ten minutes had de-motivated several art students with comments
> and/or body language, about their work. We've just finished mobiles of
> birds, made from flat reed and paper. Several are beautiful, and several
> are awkward--but hey, they're eighth graders. My principal has no warm
> feelings towards the visual arts, probably because she was brought up in a
> rural area herself. (She has a Ed.D, though, so she should know about
> motivation.) In the interests of my students, I'm thinking of preparing a
> document for dissemination school-wide, about comments that are
> APPROPRIATE to art students.
> I seem to remember something years ago on this listserv about such
> appropriate comments. Anybody have any suggestions?