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EEEEKS! For starters Kate, I hope that you never refer to yourself as a
"specials" teacher! It's amazing what a change in vocabulary can do for a
change in status. Of course it takes a lot more than that, but like I said
- it's a good place to start.
You might find success in this starting step as well. The fine arts team
in my school has found that stressing small "informances" (as they used to
be called) and inviting other classes with their teachers (and parents)to
sign up to come watch has helped. It emphasizes the learning processes
that the kids develop during their fine arts experiences rather than their
products. It's easier for the classroom teachers to find ways to use the
creative process as a means of integration when they have a better
understanding of what that looks like. I think that often a fine art
teacher is viewed as "special" or extracurricular because the only thing
the classroom teacher knows that you do is "great projects" with the kids
while he/she is on break.
If you're having trouble finding resources to support your thesis you might
consider investigating how the artistic process is a vital tool for many
children process information best/ learn. It has been my experience that
when that is a shared philosophy within a school there is no designated
"babysitter". Instead, you end up grappling with different scheduling
strategies to get the fine arts team planning with the grade level teams.
That's where our struggle continues here at Hoffman...