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Re: High risk student/ artsednet digest: September 10, 2004

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Sonoftiel_at_TeacherArtExchange
Date: Sat Sep 11 2004 - 17:48:33 PDT


To Jill in Chicago,

      Three things (Please be sure you read the last one!):

     1) In terms of an art lesson he might relate to: Illustrating an
emotion? I've been trying this recently and am getting good results; I first put
up a giant cartoon of "The Scream" and talked to the kids a little about
Edvard Munch; I then had them do the emotion scribble exercise from "Right Side of
the Brain", and then aksed them to illustrate an emotion - this last was done
for hw, and shockingly, almost all of them did it! Not necessarily great
drawings, but they were clearly very involved in getting an emotional message
out. If you can get this child to do something like this, it might give him a
release and give you some information.
      
     2) Since this child is so obviously crying out for attention, he
probably needs, at a minimum, something you probably can't give him - some
substantive one-on-one time to see if you can establish any kind of relationship and
then either asking him if he could assist you in the classroom some way
and/or offer some kind of incentive. Is he friends with anyone in the class that
he could do a team project with? If you can find anything at all to praise
him for - These 3 suggestions are obviously bandaids - he desperately needs a
good, caring counselor.

     3) My gut reaction is, however, that you should also send your letter,
exactly as you wrote it, to all of the local and congressional
representatives you can think of to give them a picture of reality in the city classroom -
copy it to letters to the editor while you are at it; I think we all have to
start getting more political.....the cutbacks are very real and those cutbacks
are not the fault of the teachers (oh, right; if we were just better trained
and qualified........!)

      Hang in there - you are one of the saints of art education -

     Pam Whisenhunt, HS Art Teacher in special education at Kingsbury Day
School in Washington, D.C.

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