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Date: Tue Nov 07 2000 - 20:26:49 PST

Help! I am a first year art teacher, with prior elementary classroom
experience, as well as art enrichment classes. My certificate is K-12 visual
arts. It seems I have walked into a very bad situation unknowingly. I gave
grades based on merit (using rubrics) not knowing this was never done
before. Everyone got A+. Everyone got 'Outstanding' for behavior. Did not
know this. I evaluated the way I thought was correct. Now I have 23
conferences and have been told parents are livid. I had the nerve to give B's
and C's! This is a very affluent community and it appears that there is no
such thing as an 'average 'child here. Classes have been unruly and work has
suffered. One parent told me she received 15 phone calls from irate parents
complaining about me. One parent wrote a letter to the principal demanding to
know "where she gets these people. Get someone who knows how to teach art to
grade school children, not this person who teaches this Aboriginal art
nonsense." (We did a unit on Australia.) Now I feel like there is a lynch mob
mentality and conferences are tomorrow and the principal is out of town .I am
very stressed. Any words of wisdom out there?