Whoops...I pushed send accidentally on my last post..so sorry!
Continuation of last post:
I wonder now how I ever managed to do all of the things I did with my
students the first year I taught. I got them on TV, I had them doing
performance art in Middle School, I had to develop my program from
scratch. In addition to my regular schedule, not knowing how to say no,
I also sponsored 3 Independent Study Project High School kids. I taught
27 classes a week!!! Yuck and Yipes. I was so busy I thought everyone
else was as busy as I was. I never had time to notice that they
weren't. I was never ever in the teacher's lounge all year.
Fortunately for me, my LS administrator noticed my ratrace and he fought
for me and negotiated a move for me to just lower school and a more
rational schedule. I know I would have burned out at that pace. I
worked every night at home, and I never left school until after 5:30 or
6:00. I can still remember my dumbfounded feeling as he asked me if I
would like to just teach in lower school and reduce my class load to 22
classes a week. They also doubled my salary. My jaw dropped. I
started out for them at $12,000/yr. in 1980. They got their moneys
worth the first year, didn't they? Anyway, since then, we have added
two extra art teachers to our k-12 faculty. The school built a huge new
fine arts facility about 5 years ago. We got a lot of parents involved
back as far as about 1985. I think the parent help has boosted the PR
for our program substantially. I hear many parents say that the thing
that made our school stand out to them when they were choosing schools
was the fine arts department. Our kids in HS all go to top schools
around the nation. We have loads of National Merit Scholars annually.
I feel so fortunate to work in a school where the whole child is valued.
Our mission statement even addresses the whole child. My schedule is as
fair as anyone elses at school. I teach 22 classes a week for two
quarters and 18 classes a week for two quarters. (I don't teach 6th
grade for two quarters.) When I am teaching 22 classes I work til 5:00
or 6:00 many nights. When it drops to 18, I leave about 4:30. One of
my problems is that I don't have the energy at 7:30 in the morning that
I seem to find later in the day. I just get more done after school than
before school. Wish I was more of a morning person! I have parent
volunteers that I can call on to hang art for me if I am in a bind. I
use them a few times a year. For the most part I like to do it myself
as I make decisions while I am doing it about how I want to hang the
work. If I have anything happen now that seems unfair or like too much
over the top pressure, I mention it to my principal in conversation.
She has gone to bat for me many times and obviously cares that I am