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pull 'em into the classroom....


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Aug 04 2001 - 11:47:18 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -
Everytime I do a display I feel I have to inform not only the kids but the
staff about the artwork. Otherwise they don't get it, they just think they
are pretty pictures on a wall.
(snip)......Mary B

I think we all have that problem pretty much unless our classroom is right
next to the office....and I think most of us tend to be out in the boonies.
I've tried to get around this apathy by going with my datebook to each
secretary, counselor, admin. person and pencil in a space(s) for each person
to pay a visit to our classroom while we're working. I think they feel
inadequate about intruding into our domain PERSONALLY because they don't
know when it's a good time or not....and they don't understand what we do.
If that's so then it's hard for them to appreciate what we do each day. I
try to plan around the projects when they are near completion so they're
snappier to look at. I know these people like to be included. AND...I REALLY
enjoy watching my students explain what they are doing to these visitors
which I encourage.

I sometimes include admin. when we do plaster masks, or quick sculpture like
plaster carving. Sometimes other teachers (on their prep) will be invited in
to "do" our project by a student or me if they show any interest.

I've just found that talking my head off about art advocacy seems to meet
deaf ears to my local comrades but the "doing" or "visiting" of a project is
a much better way to deal with this problem.

This reminds me of when a special education teacher wanted to observe a
student in my class so came for a period of art. We were beginning a unit on
line and were in the midst of discussing line
direction/monochromatic/aesthetics with a picture of Picasso's "The
Tragedy". I had kids thoroughly engrossed (thankfully) about their ideas of
what the picture might be about and how the artist had used tricks to get
his point across...and there was alot of dialogue back and forth without my
talking. I glanced over to the teacher and she had her mouth open amazed.
Better believe she had more impact with other faculty members about my
program than my flapping lips.

My point takes more than explaining your bulletin boards and
running your mouth...which is still a good thing but not all-inclusive. It
takes action to pull them into your classroom.

Also...try getting a few faculty meetings into your room so they can see
"product" and other times bring "product" to the faculty meetings in other
rooms so they can ooh & aaah. I try to keep our art classes "out there" as
much as possible.

We on the listserv can talk for hours about what all the surveys and studies
have to say about the importance of keeping art in the curriculum but all
those "others" don't have time or interest in reading these things.
Therefore...we have to shove these visuals under their noses and get them
involved and talking about it. You gotta get out of that cave (artroom) and
go fishin'. Toodles.....Bunki