I certainly would work with counselors first. I used to
bring the male counselor frozen catfish fillets. I brought the
lady candy and made signs and decorations for her. I set my room
to seat 24 and went to the counselors when I hit 23. I developed
a close relationship with my principals as well. But I still say
nothing beats going to the top. I developed a working relationship
with our superintendents. So much so that new principals would
tell me "your friend the superintendent is here" when we had a
school visit. As for the school board, change them. Nothing works
better that electing a new board. We did it. Teachers can walk
door to door and get out the votes needed cause so few voters
turn out in those elections. Try all avenues, and be assertive.
Action gets results. Yes I am idealistic, but I've seen it done.
I had reasonable class sizes most of my years in teaching.
Too many art teachers just complain, put up with it or quit.
It can be corrected but it takes hard, consistent work.
Diane C. Gregory wrote:
> What is mean spirited is school counselors and administrators who don't care.
> It is totally unreasonable to put up with these working conditions. I have
> also seen school boards who say that you should even be glad you have an art
> As long as we continue to put up with these kinds of attitudes we have no one to
> blame but ourselves.
> I have listened to all the problems that people are having on this list: no
> supplies, no equipment, overcrowding, no respect...one can not teach art and
> teach it effectively when there are too many children in the class...this is
> the bottom line...and teachers are left to fend for themselves.
> I'm sorry but this is inexcusable. Woody, bless your heart, it is great to have
> this idealistic notion that we can fight for the kids and that you can believe
> that someone will eventually listen. The bottom line is that this teacher has
> too many students and can't handle all of these students. The class size must
> be reduced and done so immediately. We can not teach art effectively in this
> type of environment--it does a disservice to everyone. By taking a position of
> no tolerance, we are fighting for our kids.
> Did you know that the number one reason people leave the teaching profession?
> It is working conditions like this and a lack of anyone being able to change it.
> So many teachers, including art teachers, leave the profession in an average of
> 3 to 5 years. Think of the time, money and effort a teacher goes through to
> get educated to teach. What a waste...So this is important...It is important
> to take immediate action not only for your class, but also for your own
> professional future. Waiting until the school board can act is a long term
> solution and doubtful at best.
> My advice is to work through the school counselors to reduce class sizes and
> failing that I would have students reassigned in whatever way you can. I am not
> talking about getting rid of special education students. I agree with you
> Woody, many special education students do very well in art classes and are a
> joy to teach. Many "at risk" students are students who have drug problems,
> alcohol problems, behavior problems. These students are usually very
> bright...I am talking about having students reassigned who don't take the class
> seriously and fail to be able to pass a test for which they are capable of
> passing if they only would study and apply themselves. Some counselors put
> students in art classes because they know the student has a history of not
> working or applying themselves. They think it is an easy class. Students
> think so too. It sounds harsh. It does sound mean. We have to fight and fight
> hard to have reasonable working conditions. It goes against the grain of most
> art teachers...However, we can not save the world unless we have a reasonable
> environment in which to work.
> Dr. Diane C. Gregory
> Director, Undergraduate & Graduate
> Studies in Art Education
> Texas Woman's University
> Denton, TX 76204
> Quoting Woody Duncan <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
>>Diane C. Gregory wrote:
>>>Have you had a heart to heart conversation with the guidance folks? Are
>>>possibly getting a lot of "at risk" students? If you get no cooperation
>>>administration or the counseling folks, and you are having trouble managing
>>>class, one tactic that might work is to give a hard test so that some
>>>will go to the counselor and change the class themselves.
>>There must be other solutions rather than giving students work they
>>can't handle. Isn't this what we complain that NCLB is doing ? NCLB
>>requires special ed students who read well below grade level to be
>>tested at grade/age level. This is mean spirited and counter productive.
>>We need to take the students where they are and help them improve
>>and grow. I taught in a Middle School where a major portion of the
>>students were "at risk". They were great kids and really wanted to
>>learn. Please don't kick them out. Go to the school board with your
>>concerns. They usually see the stats that are presented to them and
>>assume that a class size average of 23.5 mean that the numbers you
>>really have. That photos and rosters to the school board meeting.
>>Take parents with you. Things will change. Local school officials
>>will treat you differently when they know you stand up for the kids.
>> Woody, Retired in Albuquerque
>>35 Quality Middle School Art Lessons
>>in powerpoint format, on one CD $17 (includes shipping)
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>>?The function of the overwhelming majority of your artwork
>>is simply to teach you how to make the small fraction
>>of your artwork that soars.? from: ?Art & Fear?
>>Woody's Watercolor Portfolio:
>>http://www.taospaint.com/Portfolio/Watercolors.html >>Newest Fantastic Triplet Pics:
>>http://www.taospaint.com/Spring05/Photos.html >>Your Invite to Woody's Exhibit:
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