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devil's advocate/observation vent

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Nnaell_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Nov 10 2001 - 08:54:17 PST


To take a different look at this observation...

re: Noise level. I am nuts about keeping my room quiet and not having too
much talking! Why? Many reasons...the first is the children can't work. I
liken it to math or reading, when you are doing higher level thinking skills,
you have to concentrate on what you are doing. My students get their best
work done when they are concentrating and the room is quiet. I play music
and it really helps. I realize this is a little extreme...but I have seen a
huge difference in the work when I let them chatter away...and when I expect
the same behavior their classroom teacher expects. Also, my first year, when
my principal did my first observation...one of her comments to me was she was
happy to see I did not let the kids chatter away. She could see they were
working, learning and taking the art lesson seriously, not treating it like
break time.

RE: classroom management. Have you thought about how long it took your
students to clean up that day? How many times did you have to repeat
directions to get them to do what you needed them to do? Do you use hand
signals to get attention or do you have to shout/raise your voice? Do the
students respond to hand signals? I have tried sticker charts in the art
room...they just did not work for me...but what did work was going to what
classroom teachers used. Having the same behavior expectations in the art
room has been very effective. You might want to look at some writings by
Madeline Hunter. She has a wonderful, easy to use system for classroom
management. Instead of blasting your principal because he is a dope and
doesn't know much about art or art rooms (many principals do not!) educate
yourself, then tell him what you are doing to manage that issue.

I am not saying your principal is correct....but, perhaps you could look at
the observation with different eyes and adjust in a postitive way.

Sorry I wrote this to the whole group....I lost the original address!

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