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From: Christine Colera (cmcolera_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon May 27 2002 - 09:00:12 PDT

I am dealing with a dilemna similar to this - yet I am not so sure my job is in jeopardy.  I am a fairly new teacher - This is the end of my second year of teaching.  I work for a charter high school where it is run by the administration and the teachers.  It is a wonderful school, yet there is far more job duties we do than the normal school.  I have just been told that next year our enrollment is down by two classes.  The department chair and I have been restructuring our program so that it is more standards based, where before it far easier to pass, now it is far more challenging.  I have started to doubt my ideas, I have also believed that art is hard work to reach quality and I have tried to instill this idea into my students.  Unfortunately, I know that this differs with their ideas of "I will take this class because it will be fun and easy." The school has just adopted a mentality of car! eer paths and sophmores need to choose one or create their own.  The department chair and I have been attributing the loss in student enrollment partially to this, although my photo class has not dropped its enrollment in the same manner.  I am starting to doubt the rigor of my class standards, yet in my heart I know that what I cover is important and the way to offer the best education to my students.  Where is the balance?  How do I compete with easier class offerings, that are not my department?  Should I be questioning this, I am an art teacher, and I probably will be a horrible english or math teacher, yet this may be what I have to teach if my numbers don't go up. Do any other teachers out there, have the same quandary.  What have been your solutions? 
Tina in San Diego

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