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DirtRoads

Cheers To Art Teachers!

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I attended a very small art/craft show recently and made the acquaintance of an elementary school art teacher.   He's at what I would call a disadvantaged school, but they do have a very good principal there.   I was pleasantly surprised to hear they even had an art program because most rural schools in Mississippi do not.  I was asking about it and he said something to the fact that he never felt he had worked a day there ... it was just a rewarding and joyful experience every day.   I saw a few of his students come by and watched the interaction.   I mentioned meeting him to a few people that have experience with that school and they all said what a difference he had made there.    I can only describe this school as bleak.  Some of you probably have no idea of the sad state of some public schools in Mississippi.   I"ve actually worked with a few organizations/churches that try to help and I know for a fact that some of the children in this particular school don't even have electricity at home.    The only food they can depend on is what they eat at school.    And just to think of this person making a difference touches me.  And he loves being there.   I think this teacher may be the only exposure some of these children would have to any form of art.  I hate to say this but many of my friends and family avoid even driving by that school.

 

So ... if you are teaching art, or have taught art, never underestimate what you are contributing to this world.

 

This school does not have a kiln.   I'm hoping to donate some type of kiln at year end.  Of course I will be asking here when I'm ready what kind would be best.

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There was an older shop teacher(Industrial Arts), that used to tell his students "Find a job that you love doing, and you will never work a day of your life. Most days that was exactly the way I felt. The revolving door of time just kept getting faster and faster until someone stuck their foot in it and I found myself. . . retired. Not really ready, as I had just had too much fun. It is what it is.

 

Thanks to the kind thoughts of teachers, they deserve it. It is not the same profession as when I started, but then what is?

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( Some of you probably have no idea of the sad state of some public schools in Mississippi) its also that way in many other states now as well-cheeers to all teachers in my book.

Mark

Mark;

I know this might be a naive question, and you know that I am from another country.

Why is your school system not supported? Are your youth not the wealth and future of your nation?

Where is the money being spent?

TJR.

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https://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/

 

Actually social security and healthcare has outranked military spending for several years.   But education spending accounts for only 2.67% of federal spending in the U.S.

 

I would say that a large portion of individuals in the United States pay for their own education.  Which accentuates the difference between the socioeconomic classes.  

 

Mark I looked and am surprised that California now ranks 39th in education.   You know Mississippi has been ranked 49th or 50th for as long as I can remember.   But yes it should be "Cheers to all teachers everywhere".  Having an art program in elementary is the first in my county (for a public school).  I can see where some of the readers might not understand my excitement over meeting an art teacher in my county.  And how much impact it had as I watched those children from his school smiling and pouring over the art exhibits.  I doubt most of those children would have even come to the event if not for that teacher.

 

I've seen people refer to "having to teach" to support themselves.   I now seeing that as "working for the greater good."  And  want them know how much they are contributing.

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yes, sharon, all teachers need a pat on the back and often.  and mississippi may be really bad but west va is not far from the bottom, too.  sad.  we sure don't do a good job at education.  

 

it is discouraging to see how teaching has become less a positive experience for both student and teacher and a struggle to keep the administrators happy with all the information they want every day.  my teacher friends say that their actual teaching time has reduced to the point that they want a secretary so they can get back to classroom time with students.

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TJR

Back when I was in secondary schools our state was in the top 10% now its nearer the bottom

http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2014/states.html

Why you ask?

well lets see -politaians starting with Ronald Reagan gutted the economics of the school system(when he was California governor)-great slogans like no new taxes and make war not love-He started the long road to where we now are-no m oney for schools-big money for defense etc etc. I wish I could say it was only him but the list of clowns is long my friend and what yoy say (Are your youth not the wealth and future of your nation?) is true but we are in a future of blindness in my book (cheeerfull thoughts). Coming from a family of educaters I may know more than I should on this subject.

Its a bad situtaion getting worse-but the way Dirt Roads Cal and Mississippi looks to be tied now as to scores.

Mark

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Ironically, both our countries are in the throes of elections. In Canada, education is a provincial mandate. This means that the federal gov't under Stephen Harper cannot cut support to arts education across the board. This did happen in British Columbia with many teacher strikes and protests last year.

I do not in any way wish to come across as smug or superior about our 3 party system. We have  8 weeks to go. The big issue here is health care and balancing the budget.

TJR.

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I loved teaching, loved the kids, and thought my school supported me well considering how art teachers in other districts fared.  However, there is a shortage of teachers in the US now. Reasons and theories abound,

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/08/24/the-real-reasons-behind-the-u-s-teacher-shortage/

 

, but in the long run since the inception of NCLB, high stakes testing, and Core constraints the profession is highly lock step and constricted in general. Creative teaching gets put on the back burner when the curriculum is locked to a test. Intelligent, creative teachers will not fare well in that environment, and many have opted for private sector, or other sort of job. At the same time charter schools bleed off public funds, textbooks are being purchased less with online resources, and public opinion of the profession has become a down hill spiral.

 

I believe that much of the powers that control the system are colluding to destroy it in order to put in a private sector substitute that puts more money in hands of the few. Just me being cynical.

 

Would I recommend teaching to some one today? No. However, if you are so inclined, I hope you have as good an experience as I did.

 

 

best,

Pres

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Not cynical at all Pres. Pretty spot on, in my opinion.

 

Our Govenor, seems to loves the private sector. He closed down multiple State facilities, like mental health, and juvenile detention centers.

Then, when the two parties, couldn't agree on the Educational budget, for the year, they agreed on the lower percentage allowable growth, but then include one time extra funds. ...Theeeeen, the Govenor came in and vetoed the extra funds, citing he didn't want to allow lawmakers to depend on that, wanting them instead to figure out a budget. Of course, he's trying to blame the lawmakers for failing to fully compromise, while schools are still out the money. My district lost a couple hundred thousand. Larger districts, it was about a million.

 

I have been fortunate so far. My District and Administrators support me, and allow me to buy the necessary materials. The Visual Arts, and Fine Arts in general are supported here. I would say teachers overall are happy with the district.

 

This is in contrast to some states, like Wisonsin, who lost a lot of teachers, due to the current administration, or Kansas, who lost a lot of funding, for the same reasons.

 

And not to pick on the South, but one of my coworkers in the district, taught Art in Georgia. Not only were the kids "rough" (he had Kindergarteners swearing at him), but he was one time forced to paint with clay, he had dug up himself. His funding was so little, that's what he had to stoop too.

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I retired from teaching in 2013 after 25 years (3rd-7th grade, mostly 5th and 6th, enclosed classroom). I too loved teaching and loved my students. During those years I saw funding for the arts dwindle to near nothing and spending for education put California near Mississippi.  It is now up to 39th in education spending but still has a long way to go to get up to the average. That said, good teachers can still do a great job and make a huge difference in children's lives.

 

I live and taught in a very poor rural county. My degree is in Art and I went into teaching at 40 years old.  My administration left me alone because I always got great results (read test scores) from my students.  When asked how I did it, I replied that my students did art and PE just about everyday. No one believed that was the reason, but I'm convinced that art and PE make a critical difference in helping students develop their thinking skills and work ethic. 

 

Doing art so often cost me a lot of money, although I did get our parent organization (PTO) to purchase a kiln.  But a lion's share of art supplies came from my pocket.  The benefit for everyone was that I could get my students to work hard because they knew they would get to do pottery (or printmaking or painting, etc) and PE when they completed their work.  The attractive force of art has tremendous power!  When education critics defend cutting the arts and PE by saying "we want to go back to basics", I counter with THE ARTS AND PE ARE BASIC.

 

I also have a Masters in Math Education which helped me be an effective math teacher, but by and large, I am not remembered for being great math teacher as much as I am remembered for all the art I taught.

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I retired from teaching in 2013 after 25 years (3rd-7th grade, mostly 5th and 6th, enclosed classroom). I too loved teaching and loved my students. During those years I saw funding for the arts dwindle to near nothing and spending for education put California near Mississippi.  It is now up to 39th in education spending but still has a long way to go to get up to the average. That said, good teachers can still do a great job and make a huge difference in children's lives.

 

I live and taught in a very poor rural county. My degree is in Art and I went into teaching at 40 years old.  My administration left me alone because I always got great results (read test scores) from my students.  When asked how I did it, I replied that my students did art and PE just about everyday. No one believed that was the reason, but I'm convinced that art and PE make a critical difference in helping students develop their thinking skills and work ethic. 

 

Doing art so often cost me a lot of money, although I did get our parent organization (PTO) to purchase a kiln.  But a lion's share of art supplies came from my pocket.  The benefit for everyone was that I could get my students to work hard because they knew they would get to do pottery (or printmaking or painting, etc) and PE when they completed their work.  The attractive force of art has tremendous power!  When education critics defend cutting the arts and PE by saying "we want to go back to basics", I counter with THE ARTS AND PE ARE BASIC.

 

I also have a Masters in Math Education which helped me be an effective math teacher, but by and large, I am not remembered for being great math teacher as much as I am remembered for all the art I taught.

Bravo, crazypotterlady!! Most of the elementary teachers I know spend part of their pay on classroom supplies.

Wish you were Sec of Education!

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Most years I was able to easily take credit for $2K, in job expense credit on my taxes. Most years more, some double that.

 

 

Sad state of affairs, but it is what happens with most teachers.

 

best

Pres

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Hi everyone! I've enjoyed this site for many years now. Resources within for classroom use and self daily and weekly read.

Lately with retirement from teaching in the arts on my mind I've enjoyed Pres and other input related to teaching and relate

to various situations. As much as I've enjoyed teaching since 1975, currently, to much time is taken with classroom interruptions from

additional duties, district forums, Core, PLC weekly meeting, adjunct duties, and class discipline problems. Art is my passion, and

seeing students handle various clay techniques like creating a pinch pot after many practices amazing. Hearing them talk amongst

themselves, "Didn't realize how much work it took to make a container". With minimum funds for art department, I'm happy we keep the ceramic program going. Having informative projects on endangered species, students are guided through basic coiling, slab designs

into bowls as molds, studying their endangered species selection and supporting it all year. Some fond memories to name a few, but

look forward to retiring and working on my own creative self. And I look forward to sharing and knowing you all better! Thanks for all

your interesting forum write - ups I've read! Linda

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Another Lurker comes to have a voice!  Welcome to the light of the forum Linda, we will enjoy hearing from you. I am glad that you have used the forum for information for so many years as I did, and I am happy that as I did you have decided to become more of a participant.

 

My best to you,

Pres

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One of the biggest problems, besides lessening budgets, is all the extra "STUFF" all teachers are required to do. Meetings have increased quite a bit, in just my ten years teaching. We are having dozens of early outs a year, where we have a shortened schedule, and therefore can't get throug as much. We just switched to an Eight period day, from a Block Schedule (Partially because of Reduced State Aid). On Early Out days, classes will be 24 minutes. So in a Semester, we will have about eight of those. So we are losing out on about three hours of class work. And sadly, the meeting content is something that is quickly discussed, and just s soon forgotten.

And in some cases, we are expected to take time out of our curriculum to fit in something else.

 

And a lot of it has to do with falling test scores. And while it's quick and easy to blame schools for such a thing. The answer isn't so simple.

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