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Lesson Plans

Re: different philosophy

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Sat, 7 Mar 1998 12:17:20 -0700

>I'm hoping someone out there can offer me some advice on what they've done
>when their colleague has a different philosophy about art ed. than their own.
> I myself am very DBAE and my colleague is basically studio or project
>oriented. She sees no need to discuss elements of art, famous artists,
>multicultural art or aesthetics. She barely follows the curriculum that we
>have. It's a very touchy situation and when I've suggested an idea for her to
>incorporate into a lesson she seems defensive. I want to have a good working
>relation with her but it is a challenge, especially since our work ethic is
>also different (she doesn't feel commited to our school).
>I feel it's so important to give middle school kids a well rounded view of art
>before they leave 8th gr., because some of them may never take art in high
>I love my job, but it gets depressing to work with someone who doesn't feel
>the same enthusiasm as I feel. I'm open to suggestions so that it works out
>well for me, the colleague and the kids.
> Thanks,
> Peri

Hi, Peri.....I'm sitting here in my bathrobe, sipping coffee, reading your
post, and wondering what I would do in your situation. You sound really
unhappy with your and your colleague's relationship as well as what the
kids are garnering.
It must be REALLY frustrating!

With what you personally do with your curriculum and how you present it, is
probably very intimidating to your workmate. Sounds as if you're dancing
circles around her classroom style. To be defensive to your suggestions
makes one think she might be afraid to compete with you.

You didn't mention if you have discussed this with your principal yet. If
you haven't, maybe you should. If you have, then maybe you both should work
on this problem together...whether you take a pro-active position or become
a behind-the-scenes motivator. By that I mean, maybe your principal could
prod your workmate to take some professional growth art courses...or maybe
a workshop...or maybe a state art convention....or even a national art
convention. It would be worth the expense if the problem is drastic.
Finding support among peers is GREAT motivation. Maybe she just feels
alone, on her own, and competing with the kids, administration, and you for
her spot in her world. That would sure make ME defensive. Maybe she WANTS
to learn about DBAE but doesn't know where to gather info without you. Have
you showed her this listserv (without mentioning DBAE)?

If she appears to lack commitment to your school, then this is definitely
an area the principal should tackle. She should be included in committees
that concern the entire school...such as site councils, tech committees,
etc...where her opinions can be viewed and validated.

How does she fit in with other art teachers in your district? Is she
included in all the art discussion among you all? Do you all share lessons
with each other and she can see what others, besides you, are doing in
their classrooms? If you don't have meetings, maybe you could start some on
your own and have other art teachers help you without their knowing your
workplace problems.

If all that you try to do seems to fail, maybe it's just plain "out of your
hands"...there's nothing you can do. There's nothing else to do by smile,
shrug your sholders, and move on with your own life. Sometimes you just
have to give others their space to be miserable. If she brings you
"down"...then she wins!
And you're the winner here! Best of luck. Keep us all posted with what happens.
Your supporter and friend speaking here!.......Cya......

Bunki Kramer
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd.
Danville, California 94526