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Re: [teacherartexchange] my response- still about poaching

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From: M. Austin (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Oct 19 2006 - 15:17:12 PDT


I do agree with all of you who are arguing the "sharing" of ideas. I am not
opposed to teaching particular mediums at younger levels. However, I do
believe the students do not want to do the exact same lesson twice. For
example: I just got a new kiln a year or so ago. I was not doing ceramics
with elementary at all prior to that (and limited use with MS/HS due to the
kiln "biting" me). With this new kiln came the opportunity to do ceramics
with my elementary students. Last year, as a "first" clay experience (and
knowing we only had one class period to work on them) we did pinch pots in
6th grade. This year I got the clay out with my middle school students and
began walking them through the process of making a hollow sphere to make
rattles. They were horribly disappointed when I began making a pinch pot,
because they "already did that". They wanted me to teach them something new!
They were very excited when I took that prior knowledge and showed them how
to attach the two pinch pots together. Early lessons should build upon each
other. Math teachers don't teach how to do the same equation over and over -
they build upon prior knowledge.

What I find frustrating in this discussion is the lack of acknowledgement to
professional courtesy. I have a drawing idea list on my site. Some ideas I
have added on my own or had given to me, but the original list clearly
states that the basic list comes from an unknown source, AND where I got the
list from. I have seen this list copied exactly on three different web
sites, with no credit given anywhere. Heck, they didn't even type them out,
they just copied my HTML coding! Where is the professionalism? Why are we
defending a teacher who walks in, takes the ideas, the handouts, the
visuals, and puts no work of their own into the lesson. Why is the teacher
who created the original lesson being forced to recreate/revamp the lesson
since those "Art 1" students "already did it". Shouldn't we be pushing the
students to learn new techniques, build skills? If we all do the same thing
over and over, how will our students grow?

Everyone who has been to my website knows that I do like to share. Lessons I
have used from others I try to give credit. Some lessons are always going to
be built upon an idea gleaned somewhere. I don't put lesson plans on my site
because I don't always use the same concepts with each lesson - where one
time I use it I might focus on movement & rythm, the next time I might focus
on value studies. I do use lessons over - I teach 7 grade school levels, MS
art they are allowed to take for 4 semesters, HS students may take art all 4
years. There is NO way I can come up with new curriculums for that many
levels, so I have my tried & true lessons (and I still tweak, twist, alter
those yearly), while creating new lessons as I go. Knowing how much work I
put into creating a K-12 curriculum I would be very frustrated if I had
someone poaching my lessons. Those who use my lessons from my website
probably won't every have the exact same students, so there really isn't any
conflict of interest.

That is my .02, whether you agree with me or not. :-)
~Michal
K-12 Kansas Art Teacher
http://www.geocities.com/theartkids

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