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new integrated elementary curriculum


Date: Sun Sep 09 2001 - 05:39:25 PDT

Last week was the first week of school at my elementary school. On the day
before classes began, our brand new superintendent/principal (we have a very
small district) announced that our schedules had been drastically changed.
All the specials teachers, art (myself), music, reading, phys.ed, computer,
Spanish and library had been cut to teaching half as much as the previous
years in their own classrooms. Still on board for their normal positions
(meaning positions had not been cut) special teachers were now asked to go
into the regular elementary classroom as support for the teaching time
lacking now in their own classroom. The concept being stressed is that the
classroom instructional time with the regular classroom teacher is the most
important learning time of the day for students (Pre-K through 6th grade). In
addition, the special teachers are being asked to work with the classroom
teacher, at his or her discretion, stressing an integrated curriculum. A
schedule for this was made up the day before classes began and though it
seems to have many glitches, teachers in my district have agreed to try it
for a month before raising issues.
My question for other art teachers out there is how might I approach my new
administrator to explain how difficult this makes my job as an art teacher? I
feel like I have to put the curriculum I was planning (when I thought my
students would be having art twice a week with me) aside and wait for the
classroom teacher to give me something to grab onto ... then scramble to put
together, as best I can and very quickly, an integrated art lesson plan, week
to week. I believe the idea and practice of an integrated curriculum is
excellent, but on such short notice, with no planning, it feels so
unprofessional. Is there any other way I might approach this new change?