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First of all, I would tell you to get a kiln NOW, if you have the
chance. It is much harder to get the "powers that be" to shell out that
much money unless you are starting up a new program. So if you can get
it, I'd do it for sure. Oven clays are just not the same... they don't
measure up at all (IMHO). Second, I'm also thinking of getting that
printing press. I bought the "baby press" last year, for 5x7" works,
but I'd like to expand. The blanket that came with the baby press was
definitely the felt kind you've used. I would be that the bigger press
comes with at least one blanket. And I *think* the etching blankets are
the same thing, but you can also buy felt in different thicknesses at
your local fabric store. Then you could have some for back-up. Lastly,
why would you want markers that write on glass? Do you have a room with
lots of windows? Personally, I'd spend my money on supplies that would
affect more students (as in use on paper, etc). But I also don't do too
much with markers. I do a pointillism piece with Crayola cone-tip
markers, and the kids have markers as a choice on a few projects, but I
feel that you really don't get your money's worth out of them, like you
do with colored pencils and paint.
One bit of advice I can give you, since you are going from little ones
to older kids, is be consistent and BE PREPARED. I had a really hard
time the first year I taught 6-12 (along with K-5 the same year, whew!)
because I never had to be soooo prepared (as in down to the minute) with
the little ones. I could "wing it" if we had extra time or something.
Also, figure out some kind of discipline action plan or way to record
what goes on (esp with the middle schoolers). They will run over you if
they sense ANY fear or disorganization!
Good luck and enjoy your year. This list is such a great resource. If
you get frustrated, or want to share your success, come to us. We love
to hear great things from new teachers, but we also have huge shoulders
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