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Ready to Quit after One Week! Please Help.


From: JMJ Smith (jmj_s_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 12 2004 - 10:28:37 PDT

Hello members. I've only taught for one week, and already I'm wondering whether I've made a terrible mistake. I gave up my high-paying job of 17 years to teach art at my son's private school (a decision I made after much praying). I was very excited and really wanted to do this. I spent my entire summer planning lessons for grades preK through 12. I was not prepared for disrespect and lack of interest in art that I encountered--especially from my 8th graders. They are definately my most challenging class. I spent my weekend crying and I have to pull myself together by tomorrow. I really need help with classroom management. I have 24 8th graders--mostly boys. The first project I gave to them after they designed their folders was Value Spheres (Thanks Michal). I estimated this project would take at least two classes to complete. Some of the students finished in twenty minutes and said "Done! Now what should I do?" I gave them extra paper and had them practice a value
 scale with either colored pencils or No. 2 pencils. Again they finished that in about five minutes! There are a some really talented students in the class who are taking their time and really "wowing" me with their spheres (and are only about one third complete). Could you please offer me some suggestion to better manage my students who are completing their projects at very different times. I can't "reward" the early birds by giving them extra credit for a second project. What should I do? Also what methods of discipline really work for you? I know I could find answers by look through the archives, but I really need advice quickly. I'm really missing my old job. Thank you so much for listening.

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