I'm in my fourth year as an art carter and have the
Re. teacher banishing kids from art for disciplinary
reasons: That happened to me one year. The problem
went away next year because it was part of an overall
class situation and all the parents all tried to vote
with their feet when placement time came next year.
Re. resource room pulling kids out: This steams me
since they're generally the kids who need art the
most, but there's nothing you can do about it. Like
orthodontist appointments. They have their schedule.
Maybe you can open up a working relationship with the
specialist by showing him/her some of the affected
kids' work so they'll begin to realize this is another
tool that they can use.
Re. class discipline methods: The art carters in our
district try to accomodate to teachers' own class
management methods, but then we're a teacher training
program and the teachers are expected to participate.
Try to be accomodating to the class management methods
already in place, even though it varies from class to
class. If the teacher remains in the room while
you're there, try to involve her in the lesson and let
her handle the problems.
I don't think there's much you can do about some of
these problems on your own. You could talk to your
principal, but better to get your district art
supervisor to pay a visit to a staff meeting and talk
about the program. Our art supervisor does that.
Works wonders. She also sent an evaluation
questionaire to all class teachers at the end of the
year in which one of the questions was 'do you
help/participate in the lessons?' I've seen
considerably improved cooperation since then.
Personally, I deal by reminding myself that I had a
third grade teacher who would reward us with art and
punish us with math (this is what my teacher who was
banishing kids was doing). In my case, the result was
that I went into art and have remained innumerate.
But I'm beginning to realize that many people have had
the reverse experience and art is confusing--even
deeply threatening to them. I just keep trying to
build bridges so I can do my job.
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