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Re: Thanks and Farewell

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From: Sidnie Miller (smiller_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 10 2004 - 09:41:56 PDT


Congratulations, Marty on the wonderful job you did for your children.
I'm sure you touched their lives in many ways and will enrich them. It
is a sad state of affairs that exists for art programs in this
country--and education in general.

>>> rombold@earthlink.net 06/09/2004 7:35:43 PM >>>
Dear Friends,
I'm just a stay-at-home mom with a degree and lots of experience in
social
work. However, my passion was always art. So ten years ago when I
realized
that our school district offered nothing in the way of elementary art,
I
started my quest to get it into the curriculum. Little did I know that
I
would eventually be hired to teach art at my children's school--not as
a
certified teacher, but as a teacher's aid. Although I did not and
could
not grade their art, I had all the other duties of a certified
teacher:
20-25 kids per class, grades 1-5, two grades per afternoon (1 hour
each) and
one hour of planning time per week . Because I was determined my kids
(and
all their schoolmates) would get an art education, I've done the job
for 4
years at $8.50 per hour.

There were many dark hours. I was very much an island by myself with
no
support within the district. 140 kids passed through my classroom each
week
on a budget of $200 per year. I tell you all this because you can see
the
job would have been impossible without you. I learned so much from
your
discussions--what colored pencils, scissors and paints were best, how
to
start up a room when there were no supplies, how to arrange rooms, with
whom
to become best friends (custodians!), and of course, millions of
lesson
ideas. I shared little because I have been too timid to do so at the
feet
of my art educator masters.

My youngest graduated from elementary school a few weeks ago and they
asked
me to consolidate my room to an art cart. But I can't (the age, weary
factor) and I won't (low pay), and I suspect another will not step up
to the
challenge. So although art education at that school fizzles away, I
revel
in knowing I did the best job I could and that a lot of kids know a lot
more
about art --through me--but because of you. You are the best!!!!!!!

So now I bid a fond farewell to all, hoping you'll forgive me for not
paying
lessons back, but understanding how you (again) paid it forward.

Special thanks to Judy Decker who came through for me in very big
ways.

Sincerely,
A stay-at-home mom, Marty of KS

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