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[teacherartexchange] Abundance


From: Jean Womack (jeaneger_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 04 2005 - 09:17:35 PDT

One of my master teachers showed me how to let more and more students into
the art room with cheerfulness and tact, even though there weren't enough
desks for them to work on. As long as she had students, she had a job. She
had been out of work for nearly a year. Then they let her go back to work
in a middle school. Finally she got a job again in a high school.

At another school, they demanded fewer students in the classroom. They
demanded fewer special ed students in each classroom. They got what they
wanted, for one year, anyway. Then they were getting ready to close the
school because there were so few students in the classes compared to the
other schools. Then they got a new principal, a male principal. I don't
know what happened after that.

I realize that this attitude is contrary to what we are supposed to say,
which is that we want fewer students.

We have to remember that we want students to LIKE being in school. Usually
they CAN go somewhere else. Not everyone is fooled into thinking that they
have no choice of where to send their kids to school, like I was. However,
the idea of giving them a hard test is very interesting. I think they do
that in the colleges around here. That's where they REALLY don't want
crowded art classes, especially where they are using all kinds of toxic
materials and power tools. I talked to one kid who said he couldn't get
into a studio class at San Francisco State until he was a senior. However,
he had taken studio classes at the junior college, so he wasn't suffering
too much.

I got a little part-time job at Laney College in Oakland. I'm still looking
for work. But I have to thank the San Francisco Unified School District for
a great learning experience, even though they did give me the heave-ho. I
still miss the kids, and the beautiful early morning commute, boo hoo.

Jean Womack

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