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Re: [teacherartexchange] art as a dumping ground - problem re-explained


From: Ken Schwab (bicyclken_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Nov 19 2006 - 09:23:36 PST

If your admin team thinks you are a squeaky wheel because they have given you these behavior problems then they are crazy. I would invite them to your room and see them in action. I would put up art work around the school and show it off to the public to elicit support from parents, and hopefully other faculty, as to your worth and the worth of your program. We have to be our own advocates and show them that this art program has worth to them as a way for the public to see art and it's beauty. It makes me enraged to see art programs treated like a dumping ground and not have a care as to how we work with these students.
I too have been the dumping ground at our school, especially with our special ed program, however, I work with these kids well and so I get help (aids) and support from the dept. head because I go right to the source and confront them. Recently they have been asking for a student to council her during her art class, she has many problems but I told them that art was important as well and they will not see her during my class until all of her classes are impacted as well. This attitude that it does not matter, it's just art makes me boil.
 I know that because you are a beginning teacher that you might not be able to be as aggressive as me, but stand up and be clear about the problem, confront them and ask for help without being the squeaky wheel as much as a solution to their need for a place to put these kids. You want teacher aids, dean and counselor help and change these kids attitudes.
Ken Schwab
San Jose, CA

----- Original Message ----
From: "" <>
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group <>
Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2006 7:29:32 AM
Subject: [teacherartexchange] art as a dumping ground - problem re-explained

The point of my original post about art as a dumping ground was probably a
little unclear, seeing as I've mostly gotten replies about how to deal with
the problem student I described. (Not that I'm not thankful for tips on
how to deal with her - I'll try anything at this point)

My request for advice was more about how to deal with the attitude my admin
and counselors seem to have about where to schedule problem students. They
basically told me that they won't put students they know to be a problem in
the other electives because they aren't "team players" and will damage the
other elective programs as a result. ie, they're KNOWINGLY giving me
classes full of behavior problems because my art program isn't as important
as band, orchestra, foreign language, etc...and it won't matter if they
disrupt art class.

And in case anyone missed it in my replies to this thread - I'm the 4th art
teacher in 5 years at this school (it's only been open 5). I'm the only
one who has come back for a second year. I've heard through the grapevine
that they've found reasons to not renew the contract of prior art teachers
because they were too much of a "squeaky wheel" - that they view teachers
(from any subject) who sent numerous kids to the office as having poor
classroom management.

So, not only are they knowingly filling my classes with behavior problems,
but if I complain too much about it or send too many of them to the
office...I'm the one who will get blamed.


Heather Hayes
Visual Art
Ridgeview Middle School

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