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Re: am i a terrible teacher?

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PrimaryE_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sun Oct 21 2001 - 15:13:04 PDT


Nancy,

I am totally empathetic to your experience. I have experienced a similar
outcome with my last project. Although it was only a six day assignment, the
results were less than wonderful. I felt that I wanted the students to do
something relating to Sept. 11th or patriotism. Disappointingly, my students
did no research of their own. However I did. They viewed photographs of
noted buildings, the flag hanging in my classroom, eagles, doves, etc. More
students than you would expect drew a flat American flag and not a very good
one.

What I did was explain to them that when I give them a project I expect an
appropriate amount of effort for the time given and told them that all future
assignments will be graded accordingly. I introduced one and two point
perspective on the board. Everyone listened intently. I told them that they
had fifteen minutes left to class to hand in at least two boxes drawn in one
point perspective and two boxes drawn in two point perspective. They rushed
to finish the assignment. I told them this was the pace they needed to work.

I'll share with you my evaluation of the disappointing project. I teach high
school art. From Sept. until January I teach five Studio Foundation courses.
 Many of my students don't want to take art and many love it and go on to
more advanced art classes. Some years I have wonderfully talented motivated
students. This year I don't. I think I will give out less A's than any year
yet. As a result I have decided to do mostly observational projects. I
don't think that most of my students this year want to work hard. I don't
think they are willing to really think. One of the other art teachers says
she has the most talented beginning class this year so maybe she got all the
conscientious students. For whatever reason this is happening this year, I
know it is not me. I will adjust my choice of projects and see what happens.
 I agree that shorter art assignments work better with students who are not
motivated.

Two years ago I had the worst advanced drawing/painting class and last year I
had the most wonderful class. Don't take it personally. Hang in there. I
know I'm a good teacher. Best regards and good luck, Eileen in Westchester,
NY

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