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Re: Be The Change...

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From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 06 2004 - 08:34:47 PST


>Inquiring minds want to know...Give them "stuff" that
>is important to know about and make them see the need
>for change too. It DOES work.
>Judith

of course...I try to do this all the time. What importance does making art
have? Well...for one the local community sees me outdoors painting on
location often. Custodians and staff see me putting in extra time at school
on murals and various projects. Local news and events highlight things we
are doing, and the implication of such consistency of working ethic,
presence and attention is that something must have value. One hopes that
sinks in...

one has to be cognizant that what is important to know...is not necessarily
important to the students to know, nor to their parents at home. Often,
what we have to share that is important to know is not even recognized by
other staff, and especially when it comes to budget trimming time.

I gave a student a C+...who had A's and B's in every other subject, but did
not take personal responsibility to apply himself in art. Saw his time as a
time to goof off. The mother was irrate...came in and said that her son not
seeing his name in the local paper as making the honor roll would be
devestating to him. (I'm thinking what might be devestating will be that
his sense of her acceptance of him despite not being on the honor roll will
be in question and doubt, and THAT would be the problem).

I made my case that I could not just give out gifts but that kids have to
earn it. That a poor precedence is set when kids can go around not applying
themselves and know that a complaint can raise the grade. What is
easier...work harder, or let the complaint work for you?

She went right down to the main office and raised stink. Won't tell you
what came of that but unfortunately, we are often striving up stream...and
that is the nature of our job all too often.

Of course we could rant, and yes..you are right, we have to give them the
stuff they need to know. Less and less though is our culture believing that
art education is necessary, important stuff to know. Why should kids
believe it important when other staff members make jokes and don't believe
it? Why should they when their parents didn't and don't? Why should
parents believe when they see cuts across the country and hear the "leave no
kid behind" rhetoric? Why believe...when those highest in position suggest
we are part of a terrorist network! hahahha....good grief!

I intend to work so hard myself...that any jokes or ridicule my way will be
an indictment of their own lack of passion for life, what they do and so
forth. Win 'em by example if nothing else, or die trying....
peace

Larry

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