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Lesson Plans

RE: Life's too short for "angry"

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Vance McSwain (vmcswain)
Thu, 14 Nov 1996 19:09:47 -0600

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From: Bunki Kramer[]
Sent: Monday, November 11, 1996 12:12 PM
To: artsednet
Subject: Life's too short for "angry"
Bunki Kramer wrote in part:
Soooooooo, it's not the large classrooms or little supplies, it's the
teacher that makes the difference in what's "learned" or not...what's
"enjoyed" or not!
It's up to US!!!!!

It is clear you have a very good attitue. I agree, and as someone once =
said, attitude isn't everything it's the only thing. Unfortunately, most =
new teachers are full of energy and desire but lack the knowledge to =
deal with all the "non art issues that they bring with them and that =
they encounter in their students."

I have believed for a long time that in all the classes on art =
instruction and studio techniques, art teachers, need a "holistic" =
approach to the teaching of students through the visual arts. Within =
this curriculum there would be courses on handeling anger and =
frustration and anxiety. In addition, techniques for developing and =
maintaining a good attitude would be included.=20

If the teacher isn't happy or fullfilled, the course isn't going to be =
very strong, but at the same time, most teachers are not trained to =
handle the many challenging situations that they will encounter. Most =
are unaware of what to do when they aren't enjoying teaching.

We have file cabinets of wonderful ideas and projects that fail because =
of a lack of understanding of what makes a kid tic and what makes them =
go along with or resist us.

I noticed after teaching a fairly short time, It wasn't a good idea for =
me to act on instinct. The automatic reactions that seemed so natural =
toward the misbehavior, etc. of the average art classroom would lead me =
astray. After a while I realized the natural thing to do or say wasn't =
always the best thing to do or say.

It's a shame most of us have to learn these lessons the hard way and I =
have a feeling we loose a lot of potentially wonderful teachers who love =
art and are simply unable to overcome the resistance of the typical =
classroom full of students who are enrolled in art. =20

Anyway, just some thoughts about teaching and what I have learned in the =
20 years I have been teaching.

that's all..
Vance McSwain

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