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Re: [teacherartexchange] Art as a dumping ground - need advice

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Carokarn_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Nov 18 2006 - 08:57:40 PST


   You have received some good advice, but none of it worked when I was in a
somewhat similar situation. The adminsitration was desperate just to keep
kids in school and the parents of disruptive kids often had a lot of anger from
there own experiences in school and were either not supportive or even
encouraged bad behavior, and that was if you could even find them. With demand to
raise test scores in math and language arts, no way was a kid going to get
suspended for acting up in art unless there was a string of other stuff too.
   I found that the most helpful things were first a very structured class
and projects designed for success. With a child who doesn't want to be in art,
could you perhaps find out what she does want to do and design a project for
her?
   Once I had a student so disruptive the other kids complained. In
frustration I said "go home and tell your parents. Ask them to call and complain." I
had already done all I could think of, from conferences to write-ups to
calling the parent. I don't know if any of them did as I suggested or if the child
suddenly realized that he wasn't gaining respect from his peers, or even if
he thought that someone might say something to his parents, but things soon
leveled out. The bottom line is that if the administration will not support you,
get the parents involved. It is likely that band and other group activities
have a lot of parental involvement which may be the reason that they don't get
dumped on. Do it in a positive way and maybe you can even win that child
over.
  Also keep in mind that there may be other factors. Once the guardians of a
child who acted out a lot in my class came in to explain that his mother had
been murdered a few years before and the trials were coming up and he might
have to testify. That put a whole new light on the situation. It didn't change
his behavior, but it changed my attitude toward it.

Carol
Clio, SC

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