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Thanks for the advice on the job!

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From: Y.R. Brown (imaniyo_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jul 14 2002 - 11:22:17 PDT


Hello Colleagues,

Thanks to all of you that offered me sage advice and knee slapping humor.
Your commentaries of the situation I outlined speak loudly about the current
administrative leadership in our schools or lack thereof.

I am however, concerned that conventional logic supercedes that of good
collegial rapport and common sense. The fact that the teacher and the
principal are both professionals suggest a better working relationship. But
from what you all are saying that is bullhockey. Why are we treated so
poorly and what are we doing about it. So many of your comments even those
couched in humor suggest that hierachial games are the norm, the old trope
of subordination and bullying is understood by the masses of art teachers in
particular as standard fare.

Many of the comments I received lead me to believe that teachers have no
real voice, especially the art teachers. The fact that principals themselves
were once teachers, but across the board treat teachers poorly is abysmal.
The fact that most curricular goals be they state, national or local
integrate the arts and use visual art often means that art teachers have
more power than they are giving themselves credit for.

What are state and national art and education organizations for? It appears
that they protect no one, they do not make principals or fine arts directors
act in respectful, professional and honorable ways and they provide no real
power leverage for their constituency.

To read your comments daily on this list makes me fill lucky to be a part of
a vibrant, creative community. I also feel sad that we have no power or
voice in how we are treated across the board. The fact that many of us are
women, not rich, but are committed to our students and the arts means we are
in a precarious, unrewarding and troublesome position. It looks like we
need a civil rights type of movement in arts education or my situation and
that of others on this list will presist.

By this time you all may be howling with laughter at what appears to be my
naivete. But, I say if they are using the arts to make it happen for their
school, their district, why not get a decent salary, have your professional
needs met, and become a real player at the education table. We are rich in
knowledge and professional expertise, lets start weilding it.

Imagine a day without the art specials(dance, drama, music and visual art)
teachers. The other subject teachers would lose their proverbial mines.
Absence is said to make the heart grow fonder, hopeully it make for more
money and less bullhockey too.

Regards,
Yolanda

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