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Lesson Plans


Re: terrible day-Long Post

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Jane Shiflett Manner (jmanner)
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 11:34:50 -0500


Thanks for responding in a way that was generally helpful. I took this
morning off. It is a teacher work day and I could without a hassle. I'm
heading out now to grade the tests and post them in the computer. Thank
goodness I have tomorrow off. I have really wonderful advanced students
and my other classes only have a few of the proverbial "dumpees". I can
choose not to teach extended day next year, but it would mean that the
progression through the program would have to change. As it is now I teach
2 Art I, 1 Art 2, and 1 Art III-VIII (done with contracts for each
level)each term(used to be called a semester). Enough students sign up for
2 more Art I classes each term. The administration was going to drop the
intermediate level unless I taught extended day. I was devestated, so the
compromise is not another teacher because we don't have another room
(the school grounds look like a very large trailer park) but having me
teach extended day. I need to decide which is more important:

keeping the intermediate level and maintaining the flow into advanced which
has worked successfully for years prior to block scheduling

OR

having time for lunch (I have a disabled student who must be monitored
constantly so during our 20 minute lunch she and her art buddies are with
me), planning, and a life.

Arrgghhh...again

I guess it is time for me to figure out how to handle who gets put into
what will now be Art II-VIII. If I can't in someway control a priority
list, those most desiring the course and most productive in it will have
their spots bumped by students who barely passed but because of
alphabetical order are place first. (Yes, we all know that people program
computers and things like that can be changed, but my administrators claim
they can't change the way the computer places students at registration.)
Also I don't get to "sign up" students. There is an advisor per 14 kids
and when kids don't complete registration, the advisors do. This means
many students could get dumped into art because their advisors were too
lazy to figure out or _ask_ the student which elective courses they wanted.
With only 28 spots for II-VIII, there has to be some sort of priority in
selection of who gets to participate. I'll also have to come up with some
way of handling Art II within the wonderfully chaotic atmosphere of the
advanced class. The advanced class as it has been for years is a favorite
with the substitutes and the administration. All I have to put for
substitue lesson plans is check the roll for attendance, let this group
into the storage rooms, and leave them alone. They are on auto pilot
because each student has a contract which they helped make that takes them
through the entire term and they know that their peers and I expect them to
do what they said they would at a level which exceeds what they have done
before.

I think I have made a decision, but I obviously need "a little help from my
friends" since a truly stupid incident like the guitar yesterday sent me
into a tail spin. I know it could have been handled with a grandmotherly
smile of sympathy, a pat on the shoulder, and a sweet "I wish I had the
time to help you with this, but I have to do mid-terms now." I'm too damn
tired now to even sleep properly. I remember seeing a post from someone
else about the grief of block scheduling and extended day. Help us figure
out how to keep our programs, which took decades to develop, vital as we
maintain our lives. How many of you are in similar spots? Does anyone
teach extended day and receive some sort of community or staff support with
the duties specific to maintaining an art program? (OH,oh...that was a
slip back into thinking extended day is an answer!) I think block
scheduling is wonderful for art students, it is just killing me since I'm
on extended day.

Thanks,

Jane

P.S. Sandra, I got everything I needed for the Maya Lin things we did
including the images of "Groundswell". Several students have incorporated
the same kind of glass into their work both as homage to her and because it
worked well with their thesis. We went-2 bus loads- from east Georgia on a
Saturday to Birmingham(4 hours each way) to see the piece student Antonio
Peters did which HBO and Spike Lee awarded $5,000 and donated to the Civil
Rights Museum. The kids love the Lin "table" in Montgomery(5+ hours each
way) and are begging for a trip to see it. She is an outstanding influence
on them. (The spiral from "The Women's Table" keeps reappearing too. I
wish I could take them to Yale and D.C. There are lots of clear bubbles
now too, but I'm not sure where they came from.) We got funding six weeks
ago(given earlier, taken away, and reinstated) for a glass kiln with
viewing window and electronic setter which is now sitting around waiting
for me to find time to figure it out. A glass artist from Atlanta figured
out ways for my disabled students to use glass with the kiln. They can't
cut glass, but I got a toaster oven which heats the glass, then I can run
tap water over it causing it to web, and with safety glasses and
extra-heavy work gloves, the kids can break the glass like cookies and
arrange it for fusing and slump molding.

Thanks for thinking about me.