I have found that the children at small private schools and home schoolers
have this problem. At first I thought it was a snob problem - I'm better
than you so I don't have to listen to you. After these groups came to the
museums, I felt like beating my head against a brick wall would be a relief.
Not only did the kids not obey the rules, but their parents and some times
even teachers would instruct the kids to do something I just told them not
to do. The big one is that after they finish their time in the art studio
they are to clean the area they were last in, help the recycling and paint
tables to clean, and then sit at the tables. The teachers and chaperones
kept sending them into the gallery were they start wrestling on the floor
and touching the artwork.
I've since decided I have two problems 1. Is a snob attitude from some
parents (I actually had one tell me she didn't have to listen to some min.
wage attendant - she got an earful from the teacher who knows me). 2. The
kids are not use to listening to "other" voices. Think how many people the
average public school student answers to in a day (especially elementary)
his/her teacher; the 3-4 other teachers on that grade level; the music, PE,
and Art teachers; the aid(s); the secretary; the principal; the lunch
ladies; the nurse; the custodians; the crossing guard; the teachers one
grade up and one grade down; the special ed teacher; the ESL teacher; the
Resource teacher; the GT teacher. The private schools I was having a problem
with are very small (5-10 kids a class one school had a TOTAL of 19 kids).
They were not being rude in ignoring me during clean up. It was like tuning
out someone else in the mall. They just were not used to taking instructions
from someone else (many of these schools are open concept and that adds to
the ignoring factor). I have a different procedure with them now. Rather
than starting small groups cleaning I stop the whole group earlier, instruct
them how to clean the tools, and start them cleaning as a group. (with the
public school groups 10 minutes before they are scheduled to leave I
announce no-one starts anything new, and as they finish I give each child or
group a cleaning job, at the 5 minute mark everyone has to be cleaning.
Funny it is easy to have a group of 30 public school students and their
teacher (no chaperones even though we ask for 1:5), than 15 private school
kids and 5-6 parents, because the kids try to get out of cleanup more or ask
mom please can't I just (something I said no to already))
Kimberly Herbert (kimberly)
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum
In a message dated 07/11/2000 11:13:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<snip> My 2 yrs in private school were great, the
kids were easy... But the one thing I could never get over was that in the
younger grades (K-3) they were extremely rude in that they wanted to talk
whenever they wanted, over me, over each other. The atmosphere was so
in their classroom, (no talking, seats in rows) that they couldn't control
themselves in the Artroom, where they were allowed work cooperatively at
times, and to talk in low voices as long as they were working. By 4th
I guess they finally realize that we teachers are not their mothers, and we
were not going to let them get away with rudeness, or else they were just
developmentally ready to be quiet... I have never experienced this before.
Even in the inner city, young children behaved better. The only thing I
could come up with was that these kids were too priveleged, spoiled even.
They don't listen to their mothers immediately, they tune them out!
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