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Year 4- Day 146- Come Fly the Teeth of the Wind

by admin on March 5th, 2007

I got teacher of the year for the North State region… and now I’m in the running for the State of California. This is crazy. I mean, I worked hard for it… and I feel like I’m a fitting candidate. It’s just weird… knowing where I was 3 years ago, and knowing where I am today. I doubt I’ll win the California award… although, if I did I might just have to retire… what else could I do? It would be strangely fitting… .win the award, and then get moved back to the comprehensive high school.

Today is in-service day #402 of the year, or however many we’ve had. We’re doing pacing guides. I almost finished mine the last time we had one of these days. I just had some minor editing to do. By minor, I mean I finished in about 5 minutes. I’m mad I didn’t bring my camera. I could’ve gone out photographing today at lunch.

Friday we had the art opening for the county. It was very well attended. Our principal, and vice principal went… I saw a couple teachers. One of my students got $100 award for best of show… and he was actually there to get it. Overall, it was really, a very good show compared to the others I’ve seen. Last years show was the craps.

Personally, if it were my choice I wouldn’t have given the best of show to our student… not that his piece wasn’t really good… it was. I just thought there were at least 2 or 3 that were better. Although, his has this odd quality to it that makes it endearing… you can’t quite quit looking at it… it’s very luminous. I’ll try and post a picture of it.

I’m trying to decide whether or not I should leave for lunch, or stay here and eat my cup o’ wonton. I know my colleagues would like me to go with them to lunch… and be a team player, but I’m kind of enjoying today. It’s like a day off, sort of. I’m getting my handouts ready for session 5 tomorrow. I’m also just listening to a lot of great music, reading the paper… and drinking some coffee. It’s nice. I would hate to go out in to the elements, and have to wait for a lunch to be served.

I’m weighing the decision on whether to volunteer to go back to the other school next year. I’m weighing it a lot. I like here, for many reasons. My problem is that I’m sort of limited here. I won’t have a real legacy if I stay here. Not that a legacy is really important, but I’d like to know some of the kids who leave my art program go on to do great things. 99% of the kids here disappear into mediocrity when they leave here. I don’t ever hear of any of them moving on to do great things with their art. When I was at the other school the kids would come back to visit occasionally, and show me what they were working on in college. It was inspiring. I have yet, in seven years, to see a kid come back and visit who was doing something with their art skills. It gets old.

If I stay here though, I could get a photography program in place soon. I would love to teach photography. The smaller size of our school would make that a much easier task. I might be able to do it at the other school too… but it would mean sacrificing a lot of my own time… which I might still do for the fun of teaching photography. Also, seeing as the only photography program in this area for high school students isn’t that great… I really want to compete against them.

I think being competitive is probably one of my strongest attributes as a teacher. In art, I want to be the best. I have my methods… and albeit, sometimes they probably seem rather un-intrusive. Meaning, I don’t get up and lecture a whole lot. I’ve found that by doing too much direct instruction in art, you end up getting less work. I just know I’ve figured out some methods that work (for me) and I get great results… and I like to go at other teachers programs. I just feel like I’ve been around so many art programs I’m able to pick the best parts and mold them into something that really works…one of the main things I’ve learned is the mental aspect of art.

A lot of art teachers/people in general are more about the “feeling,Aeu of art, and the conversations art can produce. I hate that crap. I hate talking mood, and reading a bunch of crap into art. I’m all about building kids with skills… that can show people they know how to create. Let the viewers put their own crack-induced story behind a picture. I just want people to talk about my program as being great, difficult, and constantly producing the best works.

I don’t think a lot of “art,Aeu people can handle my attitude. Most art teachers are very, “Well art is an expression…and kids should be free to form their talents, and wonder at the imagery of our beautiful world… .I’m just the guide on their magical journey of self discovery.,Aeu

BLAH.

Art is a skill. Period. If you take my class you WILL be better at creating art. I gurantee it. You can learn to draw, just like you can learn to make a free throw, or ride a bike. It may take you longer than someone else… but it is a skill, like doing algebra. Some people learn the quadratic equations quickly. Some take a loooooong time… but everyone can learn it. When someone tells me “Oh, I’m not talented… ,Aeu or “That kid is SO talented.” I want to karate chop them in the throat.

It’s the elementary teachers faults… they constantly use that word, “talent,Aeu ART IS NOT A FRIGGING TALENT. It is a skill that takes practice.

The kids who color better probably color MORE. My son is 6, his coloring rocks the block. I’m slightly biased, yeah. BUT, his coloring is better than most because he colors at home a lot, he works on art with his grandparents, who are all skilled to some degree in the arts. I am an art teacher. He learned his colors as soon as he was able to talk. He puts more effort into it…thus he is better. This whole topic makes me so angry,

I’m going to write a book. I’ll title it, “Cram your talent up you’re a$$.,Aeu

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