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All the 50 kids in the school where I teach are emotionally disturbed and
some are learning disabled. Many have been expelled from county and
alternative schools before reaching us. Many have had profoundly unpleasant
experiences with art teachers. The student I have with the most ability and
interest failed ALL his previous art classes (he has this funny idea that art
should come from within himself and not be imposed from outside).
They make me grade the kids so I have to sit down and figure it all out.
Improvement in skills counts for a lot. Willingness to do occasional
Then it comes down to this: if they did good, they get an A and if I think
they can do better, they get an A-.
It makes my life easy. My largest class has nine kids. I want them to learn
the stuff I have to teach them. I also want them to write poetry and play
outside and be part of the world. I don't want them thinking about their
Kathy Walden Kaplan