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Stress --more on the subject

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From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 19:34:28 PDT


My oh my...I should have read first --talked later.

It is great that all of art teachers are on the same wavelength. I always
wonder why we have to keep such accurate records of grades etc....When the
kids know in their hearts what grade they got --why should we be the ones to
prove it? Trust is so important...teachers are not be trusted for their
word...
and why is that? My super had a good idea. When he was band director he
didn't keep a plan book or a grade book. He knew what was best for
education. If all teachers in our district knew that --it sure would make
out jobs easier. I really don't think we need to have a plan book or
hundreds of grades either. In my mind if we just get the kids to strive for
excellence then we don't need to give grades. If we get kids to do their
best always...why is if fair to tell them constantly when their best isn't
good enough? I know I had to quit trying to do my best....I just didn't have
enough time.

Our principals don't even evaluate us....they just decide on their own if we
are necessary of not (sort of a holistic assessment). If they don't like us
they just make our life miserable....So be very careful how you treat
kids....Even the ones that are hardest to love. We all have to love and
respect our administrators whether they love us or not (no matter what they
do to us)...It is so important we do that for our children too.
I had the most fun when I went around the room and asked the kids "What
grade did you get in art?" ---they all knew exactly what they
deserved --some I even gave higher grades.

By treating our children with love and respect even when they
misbehave --they do learn to do what is expected of them. Rather than
grading a work on what you think it should have...Give the kids a chance to
look at the objectives themselves and grade how well they think they
did..When it comes to beauty? It is in the eyes of the beholder....Look
around you...See what is beautiful...See what someone else along the way did
to change the beauty (get the idea).

We know what stress does to us...why should we continue to stress kids?
Oh the stories I could share about what stress does to kids....It is
important to get them to do what they have to do - and the best they can
do...what isn't all that necessary --well so what. I have ways for kids to
get done what they can --and things for those to do who work faster. Like I
said before...my homeowrk assignments are those I want them to do....and I
accept them anytime they get them done. When we put deadlines on
things -they learn to just not get the job done and it is OK.

Judy Decker

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