You are getting a lot of good guidance from this list for dealing with
I have a different slant with my 2 cents.
I got pulled into upper grades after thinking the early childhood I
studied for was the only thing I would ever want to do.
First I had 2 choices between early elementary and 4-6. I took the
younger children and my father talked me into trying the upper grades
just one year. I found that I really preferred the older for teaching
art. (A move took me to K-5 for several years) Second, an
administrator begged me to take the middle school (6-8) position with
a promise that she would move me if it was not a good situation. I
absolutely love working with that age group and didn't change back for
years. I needed part time and took a K-5 position.
All this is to say that I would go with the room! I would not go with
a school where they want you to finish in one period. This tells me
that the program will not be appreciated and you are considered a
service so the teachers have prep time. The teachers do not want to
have an inconvenience in the classroom. That can really limit how you
can work with the students. It is a stress producer!
I have served on the steering committee and board for the state art
association. At the yearly conference I have chaired the elementary
and middle level art caucus.
The 2 biggest problems the elementary teachers talk about are stress
and hostility of dealing with bringing a cart around into teacher's
rooms and inclusion of the special ed. students into the established
classroom just for the art lesson. Also high on the stress list is
multiple schools and multiple staff where you are not really
considered part of either staff.
Of course if the private school and the younger children feel right
for you then you have a reliable source of support from this group.
If you opt for the middle school with a room and chance of being on a
more level playing field with the staff you also have a source of
excellent support in this list for dealing with the middle school
In my opinion 3 schools and 3 staff would be be more stress than
teaching teens! How often would you see one individual child in
Good luck with what ever you choose. I know many art teachers are
reluctant to tackle middle but they are so exciting to work with and I
wanted to put forward some problems that had not been mentioned! What
ever you decide will present challenges so we will be here to put in
all those "2 cents worth".
There are so many variables that only you know. Maybe some others on
the list might point to stressers that they experience for you to
consider. Make a big chart and write in the variables pro & con and
be so glad you have 2 to choose from!
What state will you be working in?
Sharon ~ NJ
>From: "LeAnn Escoffre" <email@example.com>
>Subject: New Member, New Teacher, and Art on a Cart
>Date: Sun, Jul 28, 2002, 9:44 AM
> Hi. Read through the archives and think you are all a great group of
> teachers. I am a new teacher and just got my first job. I will be teaching
> grades K-5 (which I was hoping for), however I will not have my own
> classroom and I will be traveling to 3 different schools. Yikes.