Today I had my first real observation as a first year full-time art teacher.
I travel to 4 schools during the week grades 1 - 8. I'd like to share what
my vice-principal had to say. I get observed at my home-base school only.
Let me set the scene. I was teaching my most difficult class. A first
grade. We did skeletons out of paper strips for El Dia de los Muertos.
Everything went pretty well until I had them draw half an oval onto a folded
piece of paper for the skull. They did them but just not big enough so they
all tried a second time. Eventually we got everyone on track and went on to
do the shoulders and rib cage before the class ended. We have 30 minutes for
art, counting set up and clean up.
When I talked to him later this is what he had to say:
1. I needed more sharpened pencils on my cart. (3 kids got up to sharpen
pencils. Big Deal!!)
2. I need to finish a project per week. (It is the view of the parents and
staff that art is for homeroom teachers to decorate their rooms and that
parents demand to see art brought home every week to put on the refrigerator.
I was told this by the VP and the full-time art teacher at that school.)
3. That only 3 kids should be allowed to help cleanup at the end of class so
there aren't too many out their seats. (I had them take one last look around
for scraps on the floor at the very end before I left.)
Basically, I'm stuck because I don't have professional status and my job is
therefore on the line. I must conform. But I desperately need ideas for
quick projects or projects that can be simplified but still have some
intelligence to them. The other art teacher just got done 4 Halloween
projects each for grades 1 - 4. I'm about to puke from seeing those traced
cats lined up like soldiers in the hall.