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RE: RE:[teacherartexchange] teacherartexchange digest: August 03, 2006

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From: KPRS (KPRS2_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Aug 04 2006 - 11:55:40 PDT


I would like to jump into the student teaching fray. From my perspective, as
a cooperating teacher, I think the time allotted is fine, mainly because at
the end the student teacher is itching for their own school, room and
classes, and I am itching to get back to my own. What I would like to see is
a more serious attempt at mentoring once the new teacher is hired, within
the school system. I find the current mentoring plan in my school a bit
lacking. For one thing I have suggested that the new teacher and their
mentor should have a common "prep" time. (we all have 1 period on the high
school level for "prep" in our district). I have also suggested that the new
teacher be given classes aligned to their strengths and not just given the
"leftovers" after everyone else "picked". It is hard enough to teach the
first couple of years without going outside of your expertise or comfort
zone. I would also like to see a review of lesson plans on a timely basis,
especially in terms of aligning with the curriculum and others teaching the
same classes. Fortunately for the art department, we are only 4 teachers and
touch base every day (including the summer), and support and nurture each
other, but the other departments are not so eager to share, support, monitor
or mentor. With taxpayers screaming about school taxes, many districts have
gotten rid of the 'supervisor' positions, or have consolidated them, which
makes small departments like the art department virtual orphans in a school
system. Lastly, as all of us 'seasoned 'veterans' are retiring out, school
systems are losing a vast resource of not only content knowledge, but of
curriculum development, writing, and teaching methodology. (While
conversations will continue about the use of technology in an art room, we
seasoned teachers will tell you that a pencil and paintbrush are still the
predominant utensils in classrooms across America, and as long as man can
choose the smell and tactile quality of art supplies, he will.)

Just thoughts, as I sit indoors at the summer rental on the Eastern Shore of
Maryland where it is too hot to do anything but EAT, READ, and EAT some
more!

San D

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