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Re: budget cuts/large class update


From: gail kizis (smokealarm7_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 21 2002 - 19:44:58 PDT

my heart goes out to you! we have many of the same problems here in wichita
falls(tx). my advanced classes are all the way you describe yours.
counselors are over a barrel trying to stretch too many kids into too few
electives. what i do, just to make it easy on myself, is to have all the
kids in that class do the same basic project but require the advanced kids
to do it bigger or in a more complicated way. i guess the "teacher-eese" for
that is extending the lesson. for instance if the assignment calls for them
to draw personal trinkets arranged in their own personal still life, i will
have the less experienced bring in 3 objects, write a 1 paragraph artist's
statement with one art history reference and use pencil to achieve the full
range of values and draw realistically - the advanced kids would have to
bring in 7 items that related to their own personal artist's statement (1
page typed with detailed art history and current visual influences
and they would use water soluble oil pastels, transparent overlay, realistic
pencil rendering and text...all in the same time frame. lots of moaning and
"not fay-errr" comments ensue but what else can a teacher do to keep
everyone challenged. as a side note - for the reduced mastery kids who
will be placed in the advanced drawing classes because "there is just no
where else to put them", i will give them extra time, cut the artist's
statement down to an artist's sentence, grade liberally, etc. this is just
how i do it to keep from writing individual lesson plans and i'm sure those
with many more years experience have better ways.
it helps me to remember that i don't have to be perfect.
best wishes,
gail in wichita falls texas----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 6:43 PM
Subject: Re: budget cuts/large class update

> It is amazing the waste or misuse of $$$ with lots of budget cuts going
> Where I am in W. Texas we have 3 huge school districts. One fired their
> superintendent a year ago and has to have a person from the state sit in
> the board meetings to keep "control." The superintendent of the second
> district resigned early (right at the beginning of a new year) so they
> have no superintendent. And then......on the first day of inservice, we
> learned that the board fired our superintendent. They will have to pay him
> least $300,000 because of his contract!!!! So..............none of the
> districts even has a superintendent right now. What does that say about
> state of our schools here? They spend so much money on hiring, firing, and
> suing superintendents that there is no money left.
> Teresa in El Paso
> PS......the numbers in my hugh class are down to 37......all my fingers
> toes are crossed that it gets to the 33 mark by the end of the week. Next
> to manage that class with some wet behind the ears art 2's
> somehow got out of art 1 without learning to draw mixed with art 4's.
> divide them by tables and adapt lessons up and down. I really don't want 3
> 4 lessons going on at the same time.
> PSS....thanks for all of the support from everyone. ONE A POSITIVE NOTE:
> LOVE BLOCK SCHEDULING!!!!! It is the bright and shining light in this
> ---