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Lesson Plans


Re: advice about art teacher career

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Mcracker
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 12:03:19 -0500

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Dear Liz-
I read your inquiry on a Friday night after a very busy week -- involving
teaching at my regular full time middle school position through Wednesday,
preparing for a sub for Thurs. and Fri. so I could attend a State Task Force
meeting on standards in the arts , teaching my college art appreciation class
Wed. night before I left town, etc. etc. etc. Is it worth it? Yes!!! Teaching
art consumes my life, it is my passion. There is never enogh time to do it
all, but I am motivated and excited almost every day. I think that it is
because art is undervalued and because I see it as something so vital for
children and adults that I take teaching and advocating for the arts on as a
mission.

The students and my passion for all areas of art, and for the arts in
general, not only keep me going, but keep me excited. I've been teaching for
almost 20 years and I don't have any sense of being burned out. The things
that get to me are not working with students, but the administrative things
and the lack of understanding for the value of the arts. But that lack of
understanding, while frustrating, is also a challenge!
It is just so very exciting to see students involved in their work or a new
understanding -- that's what keeps me going. You'll have to experience the
various age groups to find out where your personality is the most
comfortable. I originally planned to be a high school teacher, but having
taught at all levels, that is now my least favorite. I really prefer the
energy of middle schoolers, although there are challenges that go along with
that energy. I also love my college students, especially as I have many non
traditional students in my evening classes who are absolutely thrilled to
discover that art is not some big mystery that they can never hope to
understand.

Hope this is helpful. I am running on here -- and feel frustrated today with
this technology as I don't feel I am communicating very well the energy and
enthusiasm that I am feeling while I am writing this! Good luck! Get out into
the schools as soon as you can to find out if this is the place for you!

Marcia Thompson
West Salem Middle School
West Salem, WI


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