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Re: Jr. High advice needed

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From: The Austin's (whest177_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Sep 05 2001 - 19:53:12 PDT


Whether you feel you have the time or not, you are going to have to go back and teach the basics. Unfortunately, this is something you are going to have to deal with over and over at higher levels. I have mine K-12, and even tho my curriculum builds upon skills learned in prior years I always have to go over and over everything because there are so many kids who move into the district each year who never had formal art classes in school. Yes, it is frustrating to be going over primary colors in high school, but how can you teach painting without the basics??? I think your students could do with some modeling - maybe a lesson in perspective where you lead them step by step through the assignment. This way they will all be successful, and if they feel successful on past lessons and if they trust you to guide them to future success then they will quit with the whining. I teach my middle schoolers on the same schedule as you, so in 7th grade I focus on 5 or 6 different mediums, and in 8th I introduce new mediums or challenges with past mediums. In situations like this I always remember a quote from one of my college professors "No matter what level you teach, the next teacher is going to start all over anyways". Good luck! :-)
~Michal
http://www.geocities.com/theartkids
whest177@wheatstate.com

  I have missed you guys! I just couldn't keep up with the list last year with my schedule and stress at school. I left that school (K-5) after nine years and now teach Jr. High (7-9). Much to my suprise I love this age group, however, I'm finding it hard to adjust in a way I never dreamed of. I was looking forward to teaching a higher level of art, but found that my student do not have the skills. You may think I'm kidding, but some are still drawing the straight line in the corner of their paper for the sun! When I give them a simple drawing assignment they crowd my desk..."I can't draw"..."Show me how to do this"..."Mine is ugly" "Draw this for me" etc. Such whining you've never heard! They can't fill their paper no matter the size, they only use half of it. The majority of them put very little effort into their work. Is this typical of this age? Now, I know the advantage at my former school is that I got them in Kindergarten and molded them over the years through 5th grade. But, honestly, my elementary students could work circles around these 7-9 kids. I love the school and the students, I just wasn't prepared for this. I only have my 7th graders 12 weeks and 8th graders for 6 weeks in our rotation, so I don't feel I have the time to go back and teach the basics they lack. I would greatly appreciate any advice.

  Glenda Sherrill

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