Jan, boy do I understand how you feel about this! I have a teacher that teaches in the H.S. with me who, not only has seniority, but (as my Principal puts it "she has paid her dues"). She has been at the school for like 6 years and I have been here for 4 years. I'd like to know what this really means. I have my Masters degree and she has not. But I am not flashy, I don't brag about everything I do, and I just believe that teaching the love of art and creativity is the key. She likes to compete with me and I try to ignore her and overlook these attempts at superiority. I know in my heart that I will not do the job that I need to do if I try to impress the world! I like to think that the teacher teaches for the students not his/her personal ego! I am struggling, myself, with feelings of inadequacy at times. But, I have to believe that really teaching these kids is what I am called to do each and every day. What others think of me doesn't really matter. I am a different kind of teacher than the other H.S. teacher is, and I am very glad and proud that I teach to further personal satisfaction of my students rather than my own ego and satisfaction. I think that we need to remember that we have to be who we are. It is really quite challenging to try to play a game that is not truly our way. I am afraid that we will lose our identity if we try to play things their way. Let us keep our own sense of value by being who we truly are and not try to be like someone else. It will come back to haunt those who play these ego games. I truly believe this with all of my heart. Today, young people need to see our sincerity, not our popularity! Kids can see right through a false sense of confidence. These other art teachers are really very insecure, this is why they have to gloate over their successes. Those around us who seem impressed are not really seeing the truth, anyway. Try not to let yourself be troubled. I feel that I am a caring and dedicated teacher who needs no prize to know that I am needed in my classroom. My students let me know that I am worth a lot to them. I'm sure yours also do the same. There are a lot of phony people in this world, don't let them affect who you are and how you choose to teach. It sounds to me like you probably don't give yourself enough credit. I have never gained anything by competing with a phony person. I can't compete because, then I will lose myself. I am who I am, and I too have a mighty purpose in the art classroom. I just know that you do too. Fundraisers are important and I have done them before. I have sold candy from Sam's and made a handy profit. This may or may not work for you, but I would not stop until I found a fundraiser that fit my personality. Remember, every teacher does not do things the same way.
I hope this helps you,
Idus in southern Mississippi (about one hour from 'Nawlins)
----- Original Message -----
From: Hillmer, Jan
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Sent: Monday, March 10, 2003 7:46 AM
Subject: Fundraiser bust.
I am crushed. The school fundraiser - a silent auction- was last weekend, and the item I helped the 2nd thru 5th create - a painted headboard- didn't sell. To compound matters, the gal who teachers art to the preK - 1st grade sold her bookcase for a huge amount. She's gloating and I feel like I don't fit. So, suggestions for next year? I guess I could figure out her 'formula'. This is a very well off community, and it's kinda prestigious to have stuff sell.... It's a lousy measure of my worth, but the other teacher thrives on this kinda stuff, and I feel it. Last year and this year I tried to do something new and different, and both times this happened. So, ideas for next year ? SHould I continue to stick my head out on a limb and do something different or.... do a project like everybody else?