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Please believe me when I say do not take this conversation personally. All
of what we have been discussing, as San D said so well, comes from
I also realize you have huge agendas and little time in which to do your
job. I understand your passion, involvement, enthusiasm, and committment to
your student teachers before you thrust them into the classroom arena.
I had, what was considered at the time, an extremely find art ed.
background through a fine arts degree. Well...it wasn't in hindsight. So
much was missing. There was no exaggeration.
I have been a mentor teacher with student teachers in three states, NC,
FLA, CA, and can tell you there is STILL alot missing at the university
level that should be taught. I also teach teachers (those already teaching
in the classroom and seasoned) and I see what they don't know or have never
been exposed to. I see some of my art teacher district peers and what
they're teaching as well as the lower level of work they will accept and
usually get. I teach middle school art every day - 5 days a week. I DO
(teach) what I teach. I talk with art advocates who talk the talk and walk
the walk but could never handle a group of 7th graders in an artroom for 53
mins. and haven't for 15-20-30 years yet they ALL seem to know what is
needed in the artroom. Yes, my statements are strong. That's the whole
point of this discussion...but never have I exaggerated. I also don't group
all universities/colleges into one lump...that would be certainly silly and
wrong. I can only describe my experiences. Angry? Maybe a tinge but that's
water under the bridge (or I'm getting older), whichever. I speak of it
here among friends who understand. Frustrated? Yes...I know things
should/could be better. Do I have all the answers? Definitely not! Do I
care? Yes. If I didn't, I wouldn't be at the computer writing this.
For fear of being redundant and this is the absolutely last time, I
promise, I'll try to explain why I think profs. should be in the
elem./secondary classroom at least 3 weeks a yr. After spending two months
off in the summer, I find I have to get acclimated all over again to the
beginning of each school year. I get a little nervous the first day because
I haven't been with my students enough to feel totally comfortable. I don't
know yet what they can individually do, I don't know how certain classes
with "gel" with one-another personality-wise. I don't know if my classes
are going to be of so-so quality level or super. I don't know if I'm going
to have some real problem yo-yos. I don't know which parents might be
potential problems to deal with. I know I'm going to have to fit my
curriculum slightly diff. to each class because that's just the way it is.
I'll need to find out what things will work and what won't (which always
changes per period). There are so many nuances and "ifs" in each
class....the things I have forgotten and/or need to re-learn each
fall....and this is after only being away from the classroom 2 months.
Multiply that by 15-20 years! Teaching college students is NOT the same as
teaching middle schoolers. And the college prof. is telling a potential
teacher how to do JUST that and hasn't been in a classroom nigh an
eternity. What's wrong with this picture?
I promise I will say no more....I hear that collective sigh! Cya..........
Los Cerros Middle School
Danville, California 94526