I will again reiterate: student teachers should be in the classroom DAY ONE,
not two weeks after. Instead of sitting in a college classroom the first few
days they should be observing the classroom teacher starting the year out.
I remember when I was student teaching - my classmates and several of the
cooperating teachers laughed at the concept that our professors must view
the classrooms as "dirty", because other than 1-2 short visits you never saw
them there. Weekly visits from my professor would have been very beneficial
for both of us.
Better choice of textbooks - I finally got rid of a large number of college
text books that the professor deemed worthy of having us purchase, but not
worthy enough to actually use. Also, better decisions on whether a course is
truely worthy of being a required course. My History & Philosophy class was
held for 3 hours every Wed. evening after a full day of student teaching -
truthfully, I got nothing out of it, whether it was due to poor instruction,
poor timing, or unimportant information.
Those are my complaints. As for how to fix it: the last time a college
recruiter came out to my school she brought the head of the art ed dept.
with her. The dept. head talked to my class about the typical "choose art ed
at my school", but then she asked if she could schedule a time where she
could actually come out and teach a class. We plan to set up something this
fall, and I think it would be a fantastic idea for her to bring some
prospective teachers with her.
Another thing that Dr.Bryan Grove, recently retired professor at Emporia
State U. (art ed dept) did for KAEA, which has brought on fantastic results:
he REALLY promoted having his students form a local student chapter and
encouraged them to come to our state conferences and gave credit if they
presented a workshop. The KAEA board, as a result, gives numerous
scholarships to those students who come to the conference, helping pay their
conference costs. We have an art auction at conference to help pay these
scholarships, and in return, the students must help run the conference by
manning booths, getting workshop rooms ready, etc. Win, win situation for
everyone as the students are able to network with teachers in the field, and
we get to absorb some of their energy and ideas.
If at all possible, student teachers should also have to spend x amount of
time with art teachers in a variety of settings: teachers on carts, teachers
in multiple buildings, etc. They should work with classroom teachers to see
how supplies are ordered, learn how to operate an overhead, a projector, a
copy machine, where to get large prints made, etc. - the real life stuff
that we had to figure out on our own. Theory is important and shouldn't be
disgarded, but it should not be the entire focus. Make & Take workshops or
classes so students have enough visuals to start out the year, since
beginning a teaching career is hard enough without having to create
powerpoints or examples. The "nitty gritty" of teaching, if you will. CPR
certification should be mandatory, IMHO.
> As for me, I would like to do my part by asking K-12
> art teachers the following question: What should be
> taught in the elementary and secondary art methods
> classes? What kinds of activities should be conducted
> to help future art teachers be better prepared to
> teach K-12 art? What kinds of reforms should be
> implemented in K-12 art teacher preparation programs?