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Re: It is time for me to go


From: Sally & Mike Engle (salnmike_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Sep 21 2001 - 15:23:42 PDT

Last summer I found this list and was grateful (to say the least!) to find a
group of caring individuals who could help me on my journey to becoming the
best art teacher I can be. I think the word Individuals is the key here.
This list isn't just made up of art teachers - these are unique specimen of
humanity, complete with idiosyncracies, opinions, ideas, and the confidence
to make it known. Perhaps as teachers and art professionals we are a bit
isolated from our peers, but at times this isolations is imposed not by our
peers but by our own thought processes. Where many see a straight line from
problem to solution, many of us see so many forks in the road that it
becomes bewildering.
I, too, have seen some postings I could have done without, and yet I ended
up doing some thinking because of them, planning new strategies for my kids
at school because of them, and creating a positive impact for my classes
even from the most negative of posts.
This list has its pulse on the world. We are a diverse group of thinking
caring adults. We bicker, we console, we help, we rage...everything that is
happening in the world around us, every idea that has been floating around
in the air, somehow comes out in someone's post.
Does it help to read even the most inane?
I'd rather ask - is there any such thing as a worthless post? My answer is
NO. Life is change and change comes through conflict and disparity. I
personally don't feel myself so complete and complacent to ignore the
thoughts of others. The Nostradamus postings are a good example. The point
wasn't that we should or shouldn't take the word of a source as gospel. The
point I was seeing is that it's not enough to rely on someone else to be
accurate - we need to explore things for ourselves. We need to investigate,
explore, and all the while keep our minds open to things we know little or
nothing about.
Now, how does this apply to teaching art? We are in the process of training
young minds to stretch and reach for ideas that no one else has thought of.
We are trying to train these young people to see that world from many points
of view. How can we do that for them if we can't do that for ourselves?
We're trying to teach theose in our charge that the world can be expressed
through art. To do that, we have to have a forum to express ourselves.
I'm going to keep right on reading. I may not always agree. I may agree
wholeheartedly. But I listen and am glad that here is a place where we can
be heard and where others can respond to the hurt, the joy, to life. So for
me - keep venting, keep up the humor, keep up the postings little and small
that make us all stop and think. If it's something I don't want to read,
I'll delete it. The bottom line is - I need to think. If I can't think, I
can't teach. If I can't see other points of view, I can't convince my
students to do the same.
And after all - I'm a teacher.
My two cents (times 20)

a silly forum for people to
> talk about just about anything other than art and teaching.
> > It is no wonder that few people give credit to the power of the arts to
> listserve who are strong educators, and I hope that despite this forum,
> our profession can become even stronger.