Well said San D. See my comments after San Ds well worded ideas. What do you think Woody? What do you think Judy?
> 1. A lack of new challenging topics to talk about. I think
> as art educators we need to be talking about things such as
> curriculum development, mapping, connections between
> elementary, middle and high school curricula, how to save
> the art departments from decimation, how to write grants,
> how to get release time to hang art shows, how to get
> support from our academic colleagues to the importance of
> what our kids are doing, etc, etc, etc.
What other topics could we talk about?
> 2. Most of us are used to being lone voices in our schools.
> I am lucky to be in a school with 3 other art teachers, so
> we can discuss many of these important issues. Since we are
> lone voices, we tend to accept things as they are, figuring
> we have no support, or plan B. We should be discussing Plan
> B's and how to get them. How do you fund field trips,
> for example? If you can't go on field trips, then why?
> If you have no supervisor to support you or to help you get
> through the maze of administration and board policy, then
> how do you get your voice heard? Those are the kinds of
> meaty issues I think we should tackle. I hear some of that
> when the iPod issues are discussed, where some teachers have
> taken on the ban and plead their cases. We should take that
> same kind of passion and plead for more money for supplies,
> field trips, access to money for artists in residence,
> display cases, more space for storage, no more art on a cart
> for elementary teachers, etc, etc, etc.
Those who teach art education are in much the same position--lone voices within a sea of visual artists who do not value or understand the discipline of art education.
> 3. As for negative feedback, my mantra has always been :
> you can't push my buttons because you didn't install
> them. Don't get taken off course by someone who has
> posted to you publically or privately negative or insulting
> comments. They certainly don't know YOU.
You are correct about that. We must not give people that much power over us.