Brenda, I can understand completely! It's a shame we have to campaign
against the other fine arts. First, don't take it personally - they didn't
reject you or your subject. No, you didn't do anything wrong by insisting
they have a conference. My son wanted to drop band his 8th grade year to go
into study hall. The school wouldn't let him drop until the quarter.
Allowing them to drop whenever they want allows them to take the easy way
out - "drawings boring, I'm quiting!" would be what I'd hear the second they
thought they wouldn't like a project. I used to see 1/3 of the 7th graders
for 12 weeks, then I'd get another 1/3. I loved it, but the new principal
felt they needed "choices". I now have 7th & 8th combined, AND they can take
it every semester if they wish, or just one semester (is that insane!) Now I
have to recruit. I don't do clay in the grade school - I don't feel they pay
me enough (nor is my budget large enough) to transport clay between
buildings. That is my pull - at the end of 6th grade I tell them that if
they choose to take my class in middle school they will get to do alot of
clay! The really sad thing is I have to repeat the process for my high
On another note, you mentioned job security. I do pr my classes to the kids
ALOT! I make sure they are fun, challenging, and that they can pass with an
A IF they work hard for it, regardless of skill. So my high school classes
are always packed. I usually have 24-27 students (that is 1/4 of our student
population) plus I have 2 classes. The band teacher also has 2 classes, and
has less total students in both classes combined than I do in one class.
Music is even worse. SO who did the board elect to cut hours last year? You
got it! Good thing I'm union! :-) Sorry, still a sore point with me!
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
<snip>The painful part is not ONE of my 66 6th graders chose me.
Most chose Band which I can understand after investing in band in 5th and
6th. 14 chose Choir.
I guess I am sad because I really thought I had developed a kinship with
many of these talented kids and many had won awards.
I know also it's peer pressure, they want to go where their friends go,
I just wonder if I did something wrong by insisting that they stay or have a
conference. Did I scare them away?
Last year Choir got down to 2 which was a nightmare for the teacher who
isn't here anymore. (Job security an issue here?)
This is a college prep private school and there is a lot of pressure and
homework so it's hard to compete with study hall.
Should I call some of these kids up and try to recruit them or be happy I
have a light load?