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I think part of the problem is that students just do not perceive arts, and
in particular ceramics as a real class. No doubt, this was transmitted from
parents and certain other staff. Even those in nice, clean offices with
their secretaries. (no more hints) It is sinking in that I have no
tolerance of those things. But a very small number will try to sneak things
I had a student make an "anatomically correct" pig. He made no attempt to
hide it or dupe me about what he was doing. The leg fell off; no doing of
mine. So he made another. I figured whatever response he would get from his
mother would be more effective than any detention or referral.
A quick response on the appearance posts. I only wear a dress and good
(uncomfortable) shoes on two occassions: first days (week) and open-house.
I work all day with clay, which never seems to be completely wiped away
despite my best efforts. And of the students. On cool days I wear jeans and
shirts, clean and tucked in. In the summer when it gets to be 85 - 90+ F, I
wear neat walking-shorts and t-shirts, again, clean and tucked-in. My
make-up is professional and hair pulled back. Because I stand most of the
day on concrete floors, I wear old running shoes. An important thing to put
on, is the right attitude. "I'm the teacher here, not your peer. I am
willing to listen to you and help you." Sincerity definitely helps.
Occassionally I have a few discipline problems, but a call home usually
does the trick--in this high school, at least. Most students do want to
learn something, be productive and pass the class.
Sure I could attribute the perceived lack of respect to my age--under 30,
gender and manner of dress, but that attitude is more directed at the
subject. Some students couldn't believe they had earned a "B" in "only
Trying to keep this short,