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Lesson Plans

Teaching Art to the masses & ESL

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robert L. Snyder (rsnyder)
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 17:42:41 -0500 (EST)

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The recent posts by Becky and Loranne about having more ESL students or
students that are in the process of learning English in our Art
classrooms, sometimes making our art classrooms more crowded (going from
30 to 40 kids) may become a problem if we are NOT careful.

I'm aware that many principals and counselors realize that until these
newcomers attain a certain level of English proficiency they wouldn't keep
up in subjects that require a lot of reading, writing and group discussion
and cooperative learning. So often, these kids are put in art, music, PE,
and perhaps some Math classes first while they are still spending half to
2/3 of their day in ESL English classes.

The thing we have to be cognizant of as art teachers is to say to the
administration and (those that do the assessment and student's
scheduling), that, "hey, OK that's fine if my art classes are suddenly
going from an enrollment of 30 students to 40 students for all 5 of my
periods or blocks, but as compensation I'm going to need an extra hour of

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for teaching a diverse population, and isn't
it great that art transcends all languages, and kids can learn art,
music and math, etc. even if their English is not so good, and all
of that, but let's not get pushed around and allow others to flatter us
because we are so kind and understanding and willing to take on this
heavier (larger class) work load. I mean we still live here in the real
world too. And as art teachers know, it just gets too crazy when you
working alone with over 32-35 students to teach, along with all the
classroom management-type things to deal with in todays schools.

If I suddenly had all my classes increase by 1/4 to 1/3 in size I'd think
it only fair that I get more planning time or 'comp' time in return.

Rob. Snyder,- 'an art teacher that's not always so eager to please.'

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  • Reply: Kathleen C Black: "Re: Teaching Art to the masses & ESL"