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Re: [teacherartexchange] teenage boys LONG


From: Rebecca Burch (mamallama_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 05 2006 - 14:28:40 PST

Oh, AMEN to this! I have spent so much time "selling" my program, I
feel like I should have gone to school for a degree in marketing!
You don't see science teachers or math teachers having to go to bat
for the validity of their programs, do you? And if you think about
it, art pulls all programs of study together -- history, math,
science, literature.... art overlaps all of those subjects so well.
You would think that would make art a more central, important part of
every school curriculum, but instead, it's thought of as "fluff."

I was actually told, by a principal in my last school, "the only
reason we haven't cut art is that the elective courses provide prep
periods for the core teachers." Yeah... they really don't get it.

Charleston, WV

On 3/5/06, Y.R. Brown <> wrote:
> I recently had three teenage boys drop the computer
> graphics class at the beginning of the sixth week.
> All three boys were seniors, two had recieved high D's
> and one a high B on their interims for the quarter.
> I had spoken with them on more than one occassion
> regarding off-task behavior and inappropriate
> language. My main pet peeve was their chatter during
> instructional time, read disrespectful.
> I moved them to seperate areas of the lab and gave
> them enough work that challenged and seemingly
> thrilled them. They'd all taken the course before and
> had would presumedly have a more etxensive skill set
> to draw from.
> The two that received the D's earned the grades
> because they did not turn work in or bring materials
> to class. The student that had the better grade
> started working, reduced the poor behavior and
> produced gradeable work.
> There was one student amongst the three that just went
> with the flow,based on the alpha male in the group...
> I asked him why he dropped the class
> ( he's in my homeroom) he told me that I'd given him a
> "D", my retort "you earned the grade". I asked him
> why he thought he'd earned the "D", he told me because
> he did not do his work... So clearly he was aware of
> his culpability and made the decision to be outside
> the boundaries of the class.
> Students make decisions based on their core needs and
> in the case of my precious ones it was the need to get
> an easy "A" and hang out with one another. When I
> interrupted that paradigm for two of them by awarding
> them the "D's" , I put a crack in their plan.
> When I stuck to my guns about the class expectations
> for behavior and work produced that added yet another
> chink in their armor. And , the student that was
> doing well, just fell in with the other two and bailed
> on the class too.
> I think that we need to understand that there is a
> growing culture of students that don't care if they
> learn anything, especially in art classes. They want
> the points and the grade and could care less about
> attaining transferable skills.
> We know that a visual art class offers students a
> myriad of higher level learning opportunities and we
> need to stick to our message and be unwavering in our
> high standards and expectations. We've been to
> school, it's their turn.
> Let that reality inform how we facilitate our classes.
> State the expectations, post the expectations in the
> classroom, on the syllabus, excerpt them into the
> signature line of your emails to parents and
> administration.
> Site stats about the value of art education...Folks
> love stats and they also go for quotes from folks that
> they agree can find qoutes by current and
> past presidents and their spouses about the arts, use
> them.
> I am thinking about having my art foundation students
> publish a newsletter about what is happening in
> class...
> Art has been taught in schools in this country for
> many years, yet we are still trying to convince folks
> that their is value and worth in this field-WHY?
> Y.R.Brown
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