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Re: Ceramic Lab Fee Question


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 11 2002 - 13:06:37 PDT

> I have two Ceramic I class and one Ceramic II class and in the past I charge a lab fee
> of $35 to the students. <snip> This year I want to put
> more responsibility on the student by giving them each a 25 lbs. bag of clay each quarter, when they pay their
> lab fee, and having them take responsibility for their own clay. I am also thinking of letting them just buy a bag of
> clay for $10 a bag if the $35 lab fee is to hard to manage. I feel that this is a lot more true to life and will teach
> them how to care for and be responsible for their own material.
> What is your opinion? How do other
> people do their lab fees and in ceramic and other lab classes?


I'll assume that even though a third of your students don't (or can't?)
pay the lab fee, you are still allowed to charge it; if a certain
percentage of your students is eligible for free/reduced lunch, you
would not be legally allowed to charge them a fee. This is what
happened to me a number of years ago after inheriting a situation
similar to yours.

I think you're on the right track as far as putting more responsibility
on the students. My students use nothing BUT reclaimed clay or clay
that I've mixed from dry; they are still responsible for wedging it to
the proper consistency. After all that work wedging their clay, you can
bet they're going to take care of it! I'm very fortunate to have small
lockers in my room so they can safely store their supplies. Of course,
there are always students who will throw leather-hard or dried clay in
the soft-clay bucket, so I still have to monitor the buckets. But
generally they can help themselves. Tools are in a bucket for the
taking, though I do keep the needle tools and sharp trim knives in my
apron pocket, and all tools must be accounted for before the class is