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Re: Moving to a HS job next year


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Jul 09 2001 - 19:58:57 PDT

> Beth Goodwin wrote:
> <snip> I have been working in the room
> these past few days, cleaning out 31 years worth of accumulated junk,
> and already heard from the janitors that the cheerleaders come in a nd
> use paint,rolls of paper, etc.
> From what I hear from students, admin, and other
> teachers, and from what I can see in the room, they did pencil
> drawings each week on an assigned subject,
> copper tooled plaques, and a sort of bas relief sculpture in styrofoam
> Also lots of study hall. <snip>
> Any advice from anyone on these would be appreciated. My other major
> concern at this point are the juniors and seniors who signed up for
> Independent Study. I want to be prepared for them since I imagine
> they are looking forward to doing nothing. How do you handle this in
> your department? Any syllabus or written guidelines that could help?

Oooooo-oooooo, Beth, yeah, you have your work cut out for you, to say
the least. I came into almost the same situation--following a 32-year
veteran, cleaning out 32 years worth of stuff (be careful not to throw
out vintage art supplies--I'm a collector!); his program the last few
years consisted of #2 pencil drawings on copy paper, along the lines of
"Draw something and turn it in." Fridays were video day, and no, they
weren't art videos.

The Advanced students were the worst; they weren't used to *gasp* having
to DO anything, much less follow a sequential curriculum
with...with...GRADES for god's sake. The principal and faculty were
very supportive; I started putting work out in the hallways and they saw
the difference right away. So get your program OUT THERE so the entire
school population can see what a quality art program looks like. You
will probably meet with resistance from the students for several years
until the memory of your predecessor fades. In the meantime, keep a
sense of humor and determination, and don't let them make you feel
inadequate. God, what I'd've given to have had you guys to whine to ten
years ago!

I wrote contracts for my Independent Study students, one for working
intensely with one or two media, the other for portfolio preparation;
the latter was based on the portfolio requirements from various
schools. I would be happy to send you copies if you like.

Enjoy Ireland! The people are wonderful. Stay in the B&Bs, eat soda
bread and drink Guinness, maybe take some salt and pepper for all those
boiled potatoes they serve without butter or seasoning. Maybe the
food's improved since I was there 20 years ago, although two of the most
memorable meals of my life were in Ireland.