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Lesson Plans

Suggestions about maintaining 9th grade respect?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Eliza Jones (ejones)
Thu, 23 Sep 1999 13:04:40 -0400

Hello everyone. I've been reading postings all month-so helpful to learn
from other people's experiences. I am a new teacher and I am learning how
isolating it can be to teach art; this online community provides so much
support and feedback!
I am teaching at a public charter school that is in its third year. It can
be a very exciting place to work-lots of energy, idealism, and new ideas. It
is also overwhelming and exhausting! I have a background in painting and
have taught small groups of kids, but I am learning on my feet about all the
little ways to manage a classroom of 25 kids and how to cope with using an
art cart.
My question is this: how do I create an art class for 9th graders that is
compelling, exciting and relevant? Art is required (something I would change
for that grade level) and a lot of the kids don't care about doing well.
They are graded for art, but a failing grade carries no consequence (failing
other classes prevents them from being promoted to the next grade level.)
Class sometimes seems to fall apart because a lot of kids aren't interested
and there is no impetus to try anyway. I am having them do brief
presentations f the surrealist collages we just finished. The only student
who was psyched to talk about his work was a student who didn't take the
assignment seriously-he had collaged two buxom Guess models and a sports car
together. He was more than willing to show this to the class. He said he did
it because they are "hot." After an exhausting week, I just had no idea how
to even respond!
Any suggestions?
Many thanks,