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[teacherartexchange] Update...surviving!

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StacieMich_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Tue Aug 15 2006 - 16:42:20 PDT


Hi guys,

I've now taught two days in high school. Of course, I haven't really taught
much...it's been mostly procedures and paperwork, and we've been on an
irregular schedule...all seven periods for different lengths of time. Tomorrow we
start the regular block schedule. I'll have four classes, 90 minutes each, with
no break.

So far, I feel like I'm going to like high school way better than middle.
For the most part, the kids seem so much more mature. I do have some freshmen
who stick out like a sore thumb...really immature boys, but I've got some
students who seem great. I actually feel a little excited, and it's only because i
feel like I might finally have the teaching experience that I always
envisioned...one where the students are engaged and where I don't feel like only a
babysitter. The idea of having a class of active learners is so exciting that I
don't even care that I don't have supplies or a sink.

Many of the kids were really bummed that they won't be having ceramics, and
some of them are scheduled with me twice, which means they will have two of the
same classes! It's nuts, and i have no idea what I'm doing...but things have
gone much smoother than last year. Seating charts are done, procedures and
sketchbook assignments have already been given out. The students have
interviewed each other and written a response to "What is art." Most of them have
been very respectful, and one boy even helped carry my crate up the stairs today!
 That would have never happened in my old school! I swear, it's like a new
world, and I feel relieved and excited about the new year! I didn't expect to
feel this way this week, and I'm so worried that it's all going to crumble
after the honeymoon period, but I'm hopeful! Maybe this is where I belong!

Besides that, my county is working on a raise, and I'm getting a stipend for
the extra period I have to teach. I might be making a considerable amount
more than I was at my old school. The other art teachers are awesome, and I feel
like I've already bonded. I feel like I have support...coworkers who "get
it" and the union and art teacher associations. Last year, I felt so
alone...except for you guys!

Anyway, I just wanted to share some of my excitement. Now I need to figure
out what I'm going to do with the kids tomorrow! I'm thinking of going over
some basics, giving them a pretest, maybe having them create personal mandalas.
I also have an idea for them to work in groups and create a mascot based on
an artist. We'll see. Any ideas are welcome. I've got pencils, colored
pencils and a few boxes of markers.

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