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Re: I need the wisdom of the sages


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 04 2001 - 12:33:58 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
>(snips)From: (Christine Sandeson)
> I have given considerable thought lately to my future as an art
> teacher in public schools....There are many wonderful aspects of being a
teacher: > association with and support among colleagues, access to current
> relevant information, stimulating material to work with, financial
> benefits ... . There are challenges which I have not yet managed
> such as the building of my personal classroom management skills,
> which will take time to build.> christene

A sage I'm not but age I have! I've taken the liberty of snipping some of
your comments. I think we all go through these thoughts from time to
time...though in your case, you have some added problems to face which I'm
sure weigh on you heavily. I think there are some points you should consider
with teaching.

Teaching art is the one job in which you can "do" art while you are working.
Can't think of another off the top of my head except graphics/animation but
there you have deadline pressures. Teaching allows more freedom than most
other professions...especially teaching art. Sometimes the simple fact of
making samples for the students gives you release...other times working on
your own stuff if you have classes that are self-motivated enough to work on
their own part of the period. Buy a big purse and carry things around with
you like a shetchbook, colored pencils, etc. so when you're stuck in
car-pool waiting or Dr. office you can create.

The biggest item that stands out in my mind in your post is mention of not
having your classroom management skills in place yet (and you are wise to
note this). This is a giant hurdle to accomplish and was the hardest for me
to learn. Took at least 3-4 years before I could admit that I somewhat had
them under control. I used to get so "down" and go home and cry and hate the
job of teaching. I stuck it out because I HAD to. I'm wondering if you might
be feeling some of that. If so, it will pass...slowly it seems but pass it
will. It is definitely a "skill" to learn and the most important one for a
teacher. You might have all the art know-how but forget it if you can't
control a classroom.

Also...classroom management always gets better no matter how old you get
because you're ALWAYS inventing new ways to get info across to the kids and
learning better phrasing and tricks to communicate. I find that one of the
most fascinating things about teaching...all the news ways to teach and
talk. It's easier to get out of the rut if you're looking forward to new
challenges as an incentive to improving ever-new opportunities. Looking
ahead is easier and infinitely more fun than looking at where you are.

And finally...there's nothing wrong with questioning your profession/life.
Doing that makes you a better person. We all need reflection time and art
time. Talking about it helps and we're hear to listen. Toodles....Bunki