I think you should keep the misbehaving 8th graders from more art materials
for about as long as it took to clean up their mess... maybe twice as long if
you feel like they deserve it. There's a lot to do with a pencil anyway. My
kids have to use pencils a lot without it being considered punishment... it's
great as long as there are enough erasers.
Can you talk to them till you're "blue in the face"... in other words what if
you go through a huge lecture and pontificate about whatever art related
subject strikes your fancy and in the process explain to them that their
behavior has caused you to have no desire for another clean-up experience of
such proportions so you've decided that they would rather hear your lovely
voice and see some drawing demonstrations or some such thing. Today I was
showing kids how to make 3/4 views of houses with parallel lines on the
"planes" and then talked to them about eye level.
I hate it too when a certain teacher here speaks of her students as though she
never has trouble with them... I know it isn't true. She just refuses to
validate my experience. Oh well... good idea to not say much to her.
Good luck- I have never worked with inner city kids but we have our share of
thugs here at "the worlds' most famous beach" and I can only guess what it
must be like for you.
Also- thanks for giving me the name of Wong's book.
Kathy Maloney Johnson
Father Lopez High School and Our Lady of Lourdes School
Daytona Beach Florida