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OK - Let's brainstorm on HOW WE DO THIS (also help with Interview questions)


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Aug 17 2003 - 07:20:41 PDT

I'd like to help Brenda...but my former school eliminated Visual Art altogether from the curriculum. My school is a "No Art" school now (they do have music)...and I know that what I did was more important than any math or science class those kids took (beside I did teach math and science, too)! I was the ONE class that many students had "success" (and I mean real success - success in the game of "life"). I know I "brag" a to about what I did for kids - but those kids remember me and respect me for it (I have another "shrine" lesson I must get online for you high school folks - a former student really treasures that). I was the brunt of many jokes with the administration and staff...but I do not regret one thing I did for kids. Sometime I will share the story about what I did for those two kids that the principal made a point to call me into his office when he had another staff member in so he could laugh about what I did....anyway...

Patty Knott has done research on assessing what we do in Art Education - I know what I DID. I met all of these "objectives" in my program (copied from Sara's link):

a.. The arts teach kids to be more tolerant and open.
a.. The arts allow kids to express themselves creatively.
a.. The arts promote individuality, bolster self-confidence, and improve overall academic performance.*
a.. The arts can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to delinquent behavior and truancy while providing an improved attitude towards school.**
a.. Helps all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the world around them.***
a.. Helps students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting-skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.****
a.. Strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
a.. Helps students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done.*****

An impressive 89% of Americans believe that arts education is important enough to be taught in schools, but the sad truth is, your kids spend more time at their lockers than in arts classes. Read the facts on how arts education helps kids do better. Here are the facts - you can read them:

From Sara's link:

I have read just about all I can today....Patty, if you are reading I know I was a GREAT art teacher....I did meet my "objectives" - kids I run into prove it to me all the time.
It no longer bothers me that my school didn't appreciate what I did. I would be in "ar teacher heaven" now if I wa there. The new principal at the school is wonderful (and so is the assistant). But I know I would not have been able to last the rest of that year the way things were going (I won't tell you more right now - except that I was no longer going to be able to use my own web site at school with the kids - that is just part of it).

Brenda, my guess is that you missed some of the "big ideas" and focused too much on trying to get a "perfect" product. I know that sounds critical - but I think that is the "problem" that you are having. My students only had to take art one trimester during their middle school years (one 12 week session) - and I always had full classes. I really don't have time to help you more today.

It is Sensational Sunday --- and I need to move on to a more pleasant topic for me.

Judy Decker

* Kids who had me - did better in social studies - I checked with their teacher to get test scores.
**Here is were I have lots of stries to time.
***I think I have given youa number of my ramblings on this...(LOL)
****Always an objective -and one I judged by the kids' OWN assessment of craftsmanship.
*****I now have my "pride" back in a job well took a while (maybe over a year). LOL I was "Employee of theh Month" at one time. LOL at me...I'm sitting here with tears rollling down my cheeks. I better quit an read the rest of my mail. Thank you Sara for giving me an oppportunity to "talk" about this.