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advocacy thru a website

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Occasm_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Feb 27 2005 - 08:54:37 PST


I thought I'd share my experience as a fairly new teacher who is getting
tenure very, very soon. I built our department site last year and it has become
the model for our district.
     To any teachers just starting out I can only say that this was one of
the best things I could ever have done. As a tool for advocacy it has been
wonderful. I continually promote it. I show it to my new students every quarter, I
show it at open house, and best of all I send out regular emails to the
faculty so they can see what' s going on.
   The other subject teacher's are usually very impressed and constantly
state they had no idea what our kids could do. Yeah, I hang work up all the time,
but I guess many don't notice. I send them an email with direct links to the
new work along with the names of the students. This way they are almost a
captured audience.
    I also give each student a special certificate for getting their work up
on the website. I tell them it will remain there while they are in the school.
After that it could be taken off and replaced by new work. It has become a
real quest for some to get on it.
    I would also mention our guestbook. This was an afterthought of mine, but
probably the best thing i could have included. My director showed our
guestbook at the last BOE meeting. We have received very nice comments from people in
other states as well as abroad. Students have also been pretty amazed at
where entries have come from. To a 13 or 14 year old, the idea of their artwork
being seen in another country or state is pretty amazing. Heck, it's pretty
amazing to me.
   For all those on the list who have signed it, I thank you. You have helped
our department and me personally. You (new teachers) will need more than a
few feathers in your cap to be granted tenure. This helped me a great deal.

Michael Sacco
Paul J. Gelinas JHS
Setauket, NY
www.myschoolonline.com/ny/gelinasartdept

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