This is my 29th year of teaching. For the last 21 years, I have been
teaching elementary art. I have always hoped to teach secondary
again before I retire. Since I live in a relatively small district
with about 11 art teachers, once you are placed, it is hard to move
to another school or level. Since a colleague retired this past
spring, I applied at one of our junior highs and will be teaching
there this coming school year! I will teach 7th and 8th graders. My
partner will be teaching 6th and 7th graders. About a third of my
students will have had me as a teacher in elementary school.
I am very excited for the new challenges that lay ahead but I am not
without questions for all of you (as I feel somewhat like the
character on the TV show The New Adventures of The Old Christine.) I
am 50 and the last time I taught junior and senior high I was in my
20s. It is not the first time that I have changed levels but it
has been a long time. I am also happy that I will have another art
teacher to talk with every day as we tend to be isolated on the
elementary level. Having taught K-12, I feel I understand how one
level feeds into the other.
Among other things, I will be the sponsor for Art Club. Although I
have assisted in the past, I have been thinking about how to get
started with this. The previous art teacher limited membership to
8th grade only. We want to include all the grades as we feel this
will provide better student leadership as they progress from year to
year. I have read with interest some of the fundraising ideas that
have been discussed here recently. I love the idea of art service
going beyond dance decorations such as doing bulletin boards. I'd
love to have visiting artists from the community. I also have a
colleague/friend who sponsors the Art Club at the high school, so I
am able to hopefully dovetail our club with hers.
My questions are this:
1. What do you wish you'd known before you sponsored Art Club (or
any club or activity)?
2. What do you see as the benefits or drawbacks, if any, of
changing grade levels?