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Re: Room

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From: Vivian Komando (komandv_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Oct 29 2000 - 09:34:01 PST


You are not making a big deal - I got the digest late so
I am sure you have had a lot of support by now, but I
just wanted to add my support to your situation.

I would tell you that it is all about respect. Respect
for you as a professional, respect for your time and
space, respect for the arts. The usual attitude is - it's
no big deal - it is just art. I have kids come to class
at the very end of the period because a math, science, or
language teacher needed them to do some extra work, make
up a test, etc. Just this Friday, a student came in at
the end of my class from gifted class because she was
working on a "special project." Well, she missed several
Power Point Presentations her peers had presented on
their cultures. So was I angry - yes, and this was over 1
student being kept from class. I don't know what I would
do if they had pulled what they did to you and had used
my room without speaking to me. You have every right to
feel the way you did.

My room is the old auto shop - now converted to a nice
classroom. (That wasn't the case when I started, but that
is another story.)We are located in the back forty of the
school campus. I usually ask my kids for their artwork
when we finish a major project so I can hang the pieces
up in the conference room. The kids, of course, want to
take their work home and are not crazy about displaying
it. I tell them it is our way of showing administrators,
parents, teachers, custodians, etc. what we are doing.
Contrary to popular opinion, I do not throw crayons on
the tables and say go to it.

We have just finished our first 9 weeks, so I am
displaying traditional self-portraits, portraits in the
style of Chuck Close, design work in the style of Romero
Britto, and the students' spirit as portrayed by the
inspiration of the work of Betty LaDuke. I would like to
display the sculpture work of my students that they did
after studying Robert Indiana. They did spatial design
using geometric and organic forms, but I can't "hang"
them and there is no other way to display them as the
conference tables are all used.

Displaying the artwork when there isn't a specific area
to display art (like all the sports trophies in display
cases up and down the halls)helps to validate the artwork
for the kids as well as for myself. So this all seems off
the track of your violated space - but we must constantly
work to keep the arts in the eyes of many as an integral
part of our students curriculum and that we are just as
important as the other subjects (at my school). Peer
respect is a crucial issue as well. I may be "just the
art teacher," but I want to be treated with the respect
accorded to the other "core subject" teachers.

Anyway, I jumped on your soap box to voice an issue that
drives me up a wall - pulling kids out of art without
talking to me - or in other words - lack of respect.

Vivian

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Increase the Peace ~^~ {^}Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Robert F. Kennedy

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