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3-1/2 weeks

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From: felsecker1 (felsecker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 20 2000 - 19:39:15 PST


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Each semester I teach, the classes are always varied; subject-wise =
and student-wise. This semester has been no exception. I have one =
class, a Beg. Art class, which is like no other. ( I have other =
classes, too, which are very productive and the majority of students =
have a good grasp of art basics and are a joy!)
After this week we will have approximately 3-1/2 weeks left before =
Xmas break and then when we return it's only another week before final =
exams. We have covered design, drawing, and painting (current) and I am =
very hesitant to even think about beginning our last unit-clay. The =
class has some students who want to be there and do a pretty decent job, =
but the majority of the class are those students who come from family =
backgrounds with no support from home (i.e. emotional problems) and =
perform poorly and have shown no real effort or interest in what we =
cover in art class. For these kids, art seems to be their hour of =
(trying to) catching up on who is dating whom, goofing off and doing =
just the minimum without alot of effort. I have tried to help them =
one-on-one; tried to lighten up and just accept them as a louder than =
average class; given detentions to those who just won't cooperate (and =
they are a little better about listening and following directions) but =
they are still so IMMATURE!!! I've kept the assignments rather =
structured so that they have less time to get into mischief. Projects =
that we have done and are doing are the same projects other classes in =
the past did so well on and in this class I'll be lucky to see three or =
four out of 20 or so students who care enough to do their best. These =
are the same students who are satisfied if they get a "D" in any class. =
Thank goodness I have two other classes that contain students who DO =
care and work hard to do their best. Those students are the ones that =
keep me going.
So here's the deal....I am very hesitant to even attempt the clay =
unit. In classes I've had in the past, the main hurdle is getting them =
through the first two days of forming the basic pinch pot-they form two =
and then score and slip the two together to form a sphere. In those =
instances, I find myself constantly assisting non-stop which isn't a big =
deal...but with this class....I don't know WHAT would happen! From that =
point on, the student can create whatever he so desires (this is after =
my demonstration of possibilites) With all the "helpless" students in =
this class, I fear I will be overwhelmed and the unit will end up a =
waste of materials and time. What also comes into play here is the =
freedom of working in clay and respect for other peoples work etc...
Any opinions as what to do? I could do another design project I've =
had success with (do to the "helpless" students, we are behind schedule =
and have not covered as much this semester as in other classes). Have =
any of you ever dropped one of your "scheduled" projects because you =
felt a class couldn't handle it? =20
I'd appreciate any comments. Thanks for "listening"!
BF

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<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Each semester I teach, the =
classes are=20
always varied; subject-wise and student-wise.&nbsp; This semester has =
been no=20
exception.&nbsp; I have one class, a Beg. Art class, which is like no=20
other.&nbsp; ( I have other classes, too, which are very productive and =
the=20
majority of students have a good grasp of art basics and are a=20
joy!)</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After this week we will have =
approximately=20
3-1/2 weeks left before Xmas break and then when we return it's only =
another=20
week before final exams.&nbsp; We have covered design, drawing, and =
painting=20
(current) and I am very hesitant to even think about beginning our last=20
unit-clay.&nbsp; The class has some students who want to be&nbsp;there =
and do a=20
pretty decent job, but the <U>majority </U>of the class are those =
students=20
who&nbsp;come from family backgrounds with no support from home (i.e. =
emotional=20
problems) and perform poorly and have shown no real effort or interest =
in what=20
we cover in art class.&nbsp;For these kids, art seems to be their hour =
of=20
(trying to) catching up on who is dating whom, goofing off and doing =
just the=20
minimum without alot of effort.&nbsp;I have tried to help them =
one-on-one; tried=20
to lighten up and just accept them as a louder than average class; given =

detentions to those who just won't cooperate (and they are a little =
better about=20
listening and following directions) but they are still so =
IMMATURE!!!&nbsp; I've=20
kept the assignments rather&nbsp;structured so that they have less time =
to get=20
into mischief.&nbsp; Projects that we have done and are doing are the =
same=20
projects other classes in the past did so well on and in this class I'll =
be=20
lucky to see three or four out of 20 or so students who care enough to =
do their=20
best.&nbsp;These are the same students who are&nbsp;satisfied if they =
get a "D"=20
in any class.&nbsp; Thank goodness I have two other classes that contain =

students who DO care and work hard to&nbsp;do their best.&nbsp; Those =
students=20
are the ones that keep me going.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; So here's the deal....I am very =
hesitant to=20
even attempt the clay unit.&nbsp;In classes I've had in the past, the =
main=20
hurdle is getting them through the first two days of forming the basic =
pinch=20
pot-they form two and then score and slip the two together to form a=20
sphere.&nbsp;In those instances, I find myself constantly assisting =
non-stop=20
which isn't a big deal...but with this class....I don't know WHAT would=20
happen!&nbsp; From that point on, the student can create whatever he so =
desires=20
(this is after my demonstration of possibilites) With all the =
"helpless"=20
students in this class, I fear I will be overwhelmed and the unit will =
end up a=20
waste of materials and time. What also comes into play here is the =
freedom of=20
working in clay and respect for other peoples work etc...</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Any opinions as what to do?&nbsp; =
I could=20
do another design project I've had success with (do to the "helpless" =
students,=20
we are behind schedule and have not covered as much this semester as in =
other=20
classes).&nbsp; Have any of you ever dropped one of your "scheduled" =
projects=20
because you felt a class couldn't handle it?&nbsp; </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I'd appreciate any =
comments.&nbsp; Thanks=20
for "listening"!</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; BF</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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