Thanks, Bunki........I will email you for more ideas. Just a little note to all who graciously answered......this is not my only school. I only go to this school on Mondays (thank God it is done and over with for the week!!---and oh so appropriate for a MONDAY!!! LOL!!!) I have all of the lower grades for only 30 mins. per week and the 6th thru 8th grades for 45 mins per week. On Tues and Wed I go to what I call my "angel school"......I couldn't get thru my week without these kids and the teachers there. It is a primary school and I teach all first grade Tues and all 2nd grade on Wed. Then on to another school that I had problems with at first, but seem to be "gelling" with in the last few weeks. I have 3 first grades, 2 third grades, 1 second grade and 1 sixth grade there. Then on to my Friday school-----which is my only "art on a cart" school. I had problems here with my middle schoolers until one week I started bringing my high school graduate daughter(who was bored silly at home) to volunteer in the scho
ol library. Suddenly the middle schoolers treated me differently!!!!! It somehow "humanized" me!!!!!!------I guess!!!!!! Go figure!!!! I'm tempted to drag her to my Monday school and see if she "works" there!!! hahahaha!!!!!!!!!
I can teach the same lesson from school to school and see entirely different results. I am able to give very detailed instructions to the "angel" kids and they "get it" and just produce what I asked for. In other schools I can present the very same lesson and the kids just fall apart!!!!!! I am beginning to think it has something to do with the expectations of the school as a whole and, of course, the expectations of the parents.
And no.......these are not inner city!!!! LOL!!!!! Try southern Appalachia!!!!!! I'm in northeast Tennessee!!
From: Charlotte <firstname.lastname@example.org
(snip)..One teacher cornered me and asked what she was gonna say to the parents at their parent/teacher conference that afternoon. I told her that the behavior in that class was so bad I couldn't give any other grade (I refrained from telling her that "C" was hugely generous!! considering what had gone on there for 6 weeks). She said "we can't give BEHAVIOR GRADES here". So I told her that their BEHAVIOR prevented the students from doing their work!!!! She just stalked off and I have been the "leper" since (I guess!!). .....Hint: I'm a first year teacher.
Hi, Charlotte......That pretty much sums it up right THERE...you're a first year teacher. A newbie who doesn't know exactly who and what to say. ..who doesn't know the ropes yet. We've ALL been there. Sounds like you've got some bullies on the staff too. Hope you find some good faculty members to pal around with because you're going to need that support this year.
First of all....I don't know what state you are in but, if I'm not mistaken, most states have their own state standards in art education now plus we ALL have the national standards to adhere to as well. That's your first answer You're trying to get the kids to at least meet the national standards...that is your job. If they don't...well...there goes the grade. (The kids need to know this as well.) The school hired you knowing that with your background, they can entrust you to make sure these kids are meeting those standards. (PS...if you don't know these standards backwards and forwards, now's the time to learn them so you can start sprouting 'em off when that old bully starts in again.) You can also explain to the aggitated teacher THAT should be her response to the parents also. If a parent comes to you upset, mention all the buzz words.....state standards, national standards, P&E's (principles and elements) and DBAE (discipline-based art education).
Stand by your guns. They're griping now....but they won't later when they see you have backbone and they'll later respect you for not buckling. It'll be tough for awhile til you build up your reputation. That'll happen ANYWHERE you decide to teach.....not just the area you're in now. This is the ONE battle you'll HAVE to win now in order to be comfortable in your teaching career.
If you need to chat more or want some mid. school ideas, e-mail me personally. Toodles......
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