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Lesson Plans


Re: teacher burnout--no wonder!

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Teri Brudnak (tbrudnak)
Sat, 20 Nov 1999 20:16:46 +0000


About this time (end of the 1st quarter) I start to get dumped on--kids
who are failing other classes are dumped in my Art 1 classes. I now have
43 students in one class and the others are almost as bad. "Educational
Triage" is a good term--to pick up on another message to the list. The
district says it's OK as long as our total student load doesn't exceed
180. In the meantime, they are reducing freshman English and Math
classes down to 20 students.(But then, aren't those much more important subjects???hmmmm)

I work on bare concrete floors for most of the time, wear the heaviest
rubber soled shoes I can find and support hose, have no time to drink
water, go to the bathroom and very little time to eat.
I am grateful for my Digital Art classes--2 periods--padded carpet,
quiet room, under 30 students, comfortable chairs and good heating and
air conditioning.

What is my survival plan? More classes of Digital Art, training student
teachers to take some classes, more time in the art studio I just built
in my garage at home. Decent food when I can manage it, de-stress walks
when I can find the time. The best rubber soled shoes I can buy. If I
take care of myself, I will be able to go the distance. Maybe.

What really concerns me, is that at the same time art teachers are being
so overloaded, we are coming under the microscope of our administration
asking us to be accountable for student learning outcomes. The whole
picture is so lopsided and out of balance that I have to laugh---and
yes, I am leaving out all the wonderful variables of the high school
day--the special day kid in your class who has just been attacked by
bullies, the girl who is crying over the breakup of her parents
marriage, the druggies who come in stoned out of their minds and throw
water on the others at their table, etc.... I love them all, but do I
love them enough to sacrifice myself to this very dysfunctional system?

We need to slow down and be human--we can't survive if we don't....
Teri B

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