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Lesson Plans


RE: Art on a cart frustrations--long soap box posting

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Stephanie Ignazio (smi)
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 16:16:43 -0500


Well, I must come out of my silence! I have been trying to deal with the
pleasant aspects of my position..not the sheer hell of it, but after reading
that message about the art on a cart day from hell..I thought you may all
enjoy hearing about the sheer stupidity I have been putting myself through!
I too, have extreeeemely rediculously high expectaitons for myself and my
students. I feel if I am bored..they will be too. Some would think this a
normal reaction..others think I am truly nuts for trying to do so much in
one day. All of my sixth grades are studying Egyptian art..SILLY ME let's
them pick and vote for their favorite media..runner-up mediums are saved for
the NEXT project. So in one day I can teach clay, plaster, painting murals
and my other classes as well..which vary from painting with tempera to
painting with watercolors and of course why not collage? This week was the
week before vacation..sort of a restful time for any other teacher in the
school..have a party or two..pass out a valentine..eat a brownie...Everyone
BUT the CRAZY art teacher!!! NOOOO, I was running through the halls with not
one, not two...but threeeee carts full of CRAP! Oh, and I was leaving my
mark wherever I went..plaster masks here, plaster vases, clay vases (why,
would EVERY class HAVE to do plaster???that would be TOO EASY!!!Hold back
nothing for this NUT) I had a cart full of watercolors, cut paper,
gluesticks, craypas...you name it. Well, when you have about 4-5 different
grade levels in ONE day...about 6-7 classes a day...you need all that stuff!
NOT TO MENTION my new rolling rack that sounds loud enough that you can
actually hear it on the floor above where I am. (CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW MANY
PEOPLE HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT THAT ONE????) So basically I have four carts in
all varying stages of craziness. Children everywhere in the school are in
varying stages of sugar-rushness..and here I am trying to continue teaching
our Van Gogh lesson that incorporates paint, craypas and cut paper in 40
minutes..which really is like 30 by the time the teachers stop talking and
are ready for me...they have "priorities" you know..and art is not one of
them). Therefore, lessons that should usually take 2 sessions take 3-4. The
kids really have adjusted however and know that they can't take everything
home and now they love to see everything up around the building they don't
mind so much if they can't take it home till May. But still you hear from
other teachers about their workload --- it cracks me up. They teach one
grade level all day. Try 5 or 6????without xeroxes!!!!GOD help me! So I ran
from floor to floor all week trying to remember where my various carts
were..and guess what..after vacation I have to continue to do it as
well....we didn't finish!!!! So I have to lug it all around after vacation.
When I had my recent evaluation my principal asked how it all was going.. I
explained how I just really ignore everyone and their nasty personalities.
It makes it easier to get through the day that way. She discussed with me
the other art teacher from years ago who carried around a STACK of white
paper. She said to me, well if they complain too much..do that. I was
actually appaulled at the sheer thought of doing such a thing. The day I
shuffle around plain white paper..is the day that I quit instead. I can only
imagine if I did what the reaction might be. They'd probably complain about
that too the judgemental bunch! I think that even thought they complain and
give me absolutely no support..they enjoy the kids art..and they know the
kids are happy. And believe me, I plaster it everywhere. The kids work too
hard in class to let it all sit in a folder waiting till the art show.
Although it might be nice if the teachers pulled a cart out of the way once
in a while or didn't walk by and say "oh, I just don't KNOW HOW YOU DO IT".
Or actually picked up the kids work off the floor if I forgot one morning to
grab it before the custodian sweeps it up or the kids step all over it, or
various other things that they think are beneath them. I looked around my
school this week through my tired crazy eyes and I saw a very colorful
place. And I know that I do make a difference in those kids lives. I took
plaster into my 6th grade class today and had one of my "acute problem kids"
say that he was thrilled. "This is the kind of art I like" he said "This is
awesome" another said. This is why I do what I do..and I imagine why you all
do it as well. Variety and 3D media such as clay seem to bring smiles that
plain white paper will never imagine! The role of an art teacher is to bring
excitement and joy into a child's day. We are the nurturers of creativity
and expression. We help children in all arenas of life building skills...for
god's sake we can teach little one's how to make GREY AND PINK..(my K's hip
hip hoorayed over that.) SO, I will get off my soap box and admit I do take
on alot more than I know I should BUT I am in control of my own destiny..and
like I said.. if I'm bored....they will be too. Now, excuse me, I have to go
pick up my three 6ft murals, my plaster masks, my plaster vases, clay vases,
watercolor paintings, drawings, painted mice, clay birds, weathervanes,
collages, egyptian bodies.........stephanie