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