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stress(long)

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Mbhirst_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Jul 01 2001 - 18:38:32 PDT


We art teachers definitely have stress! And most other teachers in my
building think we "just make stuff" in our classes. Once I get relaxed, in
the summer, my mind goes all over the place. One of the things I have been
thinking about lately is the role we play in helping kids and others to slow
down and focus on what is important. I feel like the school spa sometimes---
other teachers just come into my room to look out the windows or to see kids
enjoying school or to absorb the atmosphere of the art room. Kids and adults
fill up my free time just wanting to "be" in the artroom. They all feel what
we as artists know, that life is about way more than tests and grades and
accomplishments-but they don't know how to get there. I see this as our role
.
       We are the aestheticists of the future. We are responsible for
maintaining culture and educating our society as to the affective aspects of
life and how they can support a quality of existence. I feel more and more
torn between the standards/assessment/accountability stuff and the real
reason art exists in the world. I believe the stress we feel so intensely,
comes from the fact that these issues are not compatible. The
corporate/business world has encroached so completely into our lives
(schools) that people no longer feel justified in aesthetics training.
Everything must be job related or accountable or technology based. We are
caught in between. Our hearts and hands are in one locale and our brains and
paychecks in another.
OK- enough of my rambling. Do any of you agree? Disagree?
Marcia Hirst
Art Instructor
Bloomington High School

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