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Art Teachers Mission Statement


From: Judy Decker (jdecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 26 2003 - 07:07:44 PDT

Dear Art Educators,

Many schools now a days have a mission statement.... Lets see if we can post
ideas on what our Art Teacher Mission Statement would be. I will start with
some ideas...Anyone else who wants so jump in please do so.

Art Teachers of the world believe children learn best when they also learn
respect, responsibility, honesty, integrity, civility, civic-mindedness,
fairness, compassion, courage, loyalty, and truth. We believe that all
children can create and have stories to tell when given the environment to
grow and express those ideas. We believe that dreams are to be shared and
We believe "beauty" can be found in what man creates and in the world around

OK...what parts need to be cut - reworded.... I'm having trouble getting it
just right today because I am trying to hurry (I still have company).

Here is my take on late assignments.... In the real world when you have a
job to do and don't do it there are some heavy consequences and sometimes
good people get hurt. What happens if a contractor doesn't get the job done
(I have a contractor horror story)? What happens if you don't do your taxes?
In my class the work had to get done one way or another. I even changed
grades if the work was turned in the following grading period. I just
adjusted the final grade slightly to reflect the late work. When I did my
master's work there were some very real excuses why I didn't get my work
done on time (They knew some of the stress that was placed on me). I had
three professors who accepted my work late and I am grateful to that. With
two, I got an A- instead of an A (I turned in more work than anyone else to
make up for the lateness). With the last project - my research and web
site - my lateness was beyond my control (my school's hard ware and tech guy
was at fault - long story) so in that class I got an A.

I encourage all of you to find ways for your students to get the job done -
that is the way the real world operates. Give them this life skill. If you
have to penalize them for late work - do so - because that is the way the
real world operates, too (decide what was in their power to control and what
was not). If I child had an excuse that blamed it on their parents. I asked
if that is what their parent would say if I called them. I got the truth out
of them - then gave them the extra day to turn in the work. I don't think
letting them get by without doing the work is acceptable. If the work was
important enough to assign - then it is important enough to finish. You will
all have to decide what works best for you.

On homework... I assigned things that should be fun for the students to
learn about (create lifelong learners)....Had them write the assignment in
their Agendas. If they didn't get them done it was not a big deal. I didn't
penalize them that much (but gave Mona Bucks to those who did do the work).
Just told them it was "their loss" - and then said I blamed it on their
parents that they didn't get it done....As the parents had the
responsibility to check their child's agenda (they were all told this at the
open house - and in letters home with every child). This took the pressure
off the kids - and then with some it did make them turn it in the next day.

Judy Decker - Ohio
Incredible Art Department