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Re: [teacherartexchange] College level/public school dichotomy


From: M. Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 20 2007 - 15:28:20 PDT

I disagree here, because when in college I wanted to be a high school art
teacher. Why? Because I had NO clue what an elementary art class looked
like. There are many districts that only have high school art classes, fewer
have middle school art classes, and many many have none at the elementary
level. During my student teaching, when I was getting my K-6 certification,
I had an awesome mentor in my cooperating teacher. To this day, I LOVE my
elementary students. BUT, I feel equally strong about my middle and high
school classes. My job is always challenging, never dull. I enjoy teaching
my primary students, and then having the honor of teaching them as they grow
up. I get to watch them graduate, knowing they were "mine" for 13 years. I
am constantly scrounging the internet to keep myself "up" on the latest in
art, I take workshops every chance I get, I am passionate about learning.

I started my art program right out of college. My district was growing and
decided that they wanted a K-12 art program. I started my job with no
knowledge of how or what to order (I had no supplies to start with - thank
goodness for my elementary cooperating teacher!), no clue how to run a kiln
(seems that things like this aren't always taught in art ed college
classes!), had never heard of NAEA, and nobody in my district to ask. I
really could have used some good old basics in college! While circumstances
at school are keeping me from teaching K-2 next year, I know I'll still have
them from 3rd grade on.
3-12 Kansas Art Teacher
HS Digital Communications
Technology Integration Specialist

> Am I wrong to think most of us know which level we really want to teach
> to? which age we best relate to? I know many accept positions they
> really don't feel most comfortable with just to have job? I want those
> that want to be elementary to be that and be the best at that and the
> same for high school.

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