I have been on this mailing list since I was trying to find help developing a Commercial Design curriculum. It has helped me feel connected to the world of Art Education again, since we moved to a small town nine years ago.
I taught Art in the San Diego City Schools for twenty years. When we moved to a small town, I took a few years off to help get my ADHD son through school. I took a job six years ago at a small private school, teaching Photography ONE hour a day. I had seven students. I have now built the curriculum to three full classes (we only have 250 students in the high school) and two years ago decided to take on the Yearbook again. I am now up to 4/5ths time and you all know that it takes me approximately 12 hours a day to teach yearbook, three classes of Photography I with Photo II students intermixed in the Photo I classes.
We have had a change in Administration and over the past two years, the school has grown. Their goal is to become a top 10 private school. They have raised much money, are building fast and furious and recruiting students by the drove.
I believe that I am a very good teacher. I love my students, I test them for their learning style and then present the information as each student needs it. It is hard for me to walk away if one of my students needs me. If I am at school, there at students in my room and in the lab.
I don't make that much money-but have always said that I am lucky that my husband can support us and I love what I do.
Today I was told about my contract for next year. I was told that I would again receive a 4/5ths contract but that I would be receiving a $3500.00 paycut. They needed to hire the elementary Art teacher full time and they had to cut the budget somewhere. I gave myself several hours to go through the emotions and decided to go to the person who broke this news to me. I told him that if they would like me to leave, if there was a problem with my teaching, I would gladly leave. Our discussion was a long one. I was told that they honestly would not give me a contract if they weren't happy with my work and I have heard other mumblings around school that their contracts were for less than the year before.
I am angry and resentful BUT do love teaching Photography. This town is small enough that I do not think I will be able to find another Photo teacher job.
I would love my fellow Art teachers input.... What would you do???