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Re: Middle School teachers!!

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From: Woody Duncan (wduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Aug 16 2001 - 17:12:02 PDT


Mary,
        I've got more questions than answers, read on.

gregjuli@execpc.com wrote:
>
> I'm putting out a plea to middle school teachers ( or any teachers) again (
> gosh was it something I said, or where you all on vacation?) Very soon I will
> be in a heavy debate with our administration and teachers whether we should
> have the "specials" go to electives. Currently all 6th,7th and 8th graders get
> art every year.

Art every year for how long ?
I'm glad to get Art back for every 6th grader, if only for a quarter.
I'll have 7th and 8th as electives, and that is for a semester.
My preference would be having it required for 6th and 7th grade and
as an elective for 8th graders and perhaps for a full year. A lot of our
ideas on this will be based upon what we are used to and not on the ideal.
What else is important after the 3 R's. Technology, Life Skills, Speech,
Communication Skills, Another Language, Key Boarding Skills, Drama or Dance,
Physical Education, etc. We have a strong music program in the elementary
schools. The music teachers, rightly want those students to continue those
skills. They need the child M-F full year, every year. I accept that logic,
so one period per day the student will be in Strings or Band.

> Their focus is on the doing electives for the 8th grade. The
> music department really wants this so they force kids to decide between Honors
> Art and Band or Chorus. Where do I begin??

This depends upon how many electives a student could be taking in a given
day or year ? If as an 8th grader they can take Advanced Art, Cadet Band
and Spanish then electives are great. There is room in our students schedules
now for 5 solid courses and 3 electives. In your school, how many
elective slots
would the student have ?

> Should I fight to keep art for all
> 8th graders?

I have always seen 6th and 7th grade as exposure to as many things as
possible. At some point the child has to be able to exercise some ability
to make choices. Just as Middle school is a transition from elementary
school, it is also a transition to high school where choices have to be
made. 8th grade should be that transition.

> Maybe electives aren't so bad? ...I never worked under that
> set-up before. Do I gather all the resources I can find to support all 8th gr
> having art? And what about that music dept.?
> MaryB

-- 
       I'm from Kansas,  where the Legislature and BOE keep trying 
        to define the term "suitable" because our constitution requires
          the state provide a "suitable" education for all students
                      Only Kansas is flat, not the entire planet.
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