Our public school art teacher is AWFUL!!! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 10 Old 02-17-2005, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is in kindergarten, and I am shocked at what the art teacher is doing - or isn't doing, depending on how you look at it.

Honestly, what they are doing every week amounts to no more than coloring. Every week they are told to draw something - yes, TOLD what to draw - such as a scarecrow, a penguin, themselves, whatever, and then they color it in. Sometimes they paint it, but it is still coloring, because they draw it first. Even the "mosaic" activity was coloring, because they DREW penguins, and then were given small paper mosaic squares to fill in the penguins, and were only given one color at a time - "Today you'll be doing the black part of your penguin."

It's awful. There is absolutely no creativity at all. The teacher herself is very, very nice and manages the class well, and it's not as though she corrects the kids - like, if a kid makes his sky red she'll say it's beautiful, not say that it should be blue - but I can't believe this woman was hired as an art teacher. She knows nothing about children making art.

Should I talk to the principal? The teacher herself? I don't want to be confrontational or make her look bad because I like her, I just think the stuff they do in there is useless, and worse, she's teaching them that this is "art."

WWYD?
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#2 of 10 Old 02-17-2005, 07:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaMom
I can't believe this woman was hired as an art teacher. She knows nothing about children making art.
That's really not all that unusual. My dad was a public school teacher. He was a biology major and his first teaching job was pre-Algebra.

I have a friend who is an English major but teaches Spanish.
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#3 of 10 Old 02-17-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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Would it be possible to bring up some ideas with the teacher herself? I know that I'm not the most creative person in the world in that realm, and if I was doing this, and someone gave me suggestions, I would probably appreciate it. Do you think she's resistant to doing things differently or just is not all that creative?
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#4 of 10 Old 02-18-2005, 02:18 AM
 
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... that sounds like my 7th grade art class...

and in kindegarten, we were given "projects" like that too. we never had just a free art period to revel in the joy of creation (that was "too young" for us big pre-1st-graders ) ~ so... i'm thinking this might be a standard public school approach, although if it were me, i would talk with the teacher about it one on one and see if there are any alternatives we might explore.

good luck.
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#5 of 10 Old 02-18-2005, 02:03 PM
 
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If that were happening in my kids' school, I think I'd work harder at doing creative art projects at home. It would be a hard thing to influence the school when most parents are happy with it. Perhaps you could talk to others and see if anyone else is unhappy?

 
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#6 of 10 Old 02-20-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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all i can say is as a teacher of young children , it really is not advisable to label a childs' product as "pretty, beautiful"now the way she is presenting it it unusual. when i even take the special ed kids to art( they are in kinder) the art teacher lets them do what ever they want with glue, paper , bees wax crayons...........she is really great with them.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-02-2005, 10:26 PM
 
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Well, at least she's telling the kids what they do is beautiful.

My art teachers in elementary school always gave me "U"'s (Unsatisfactory) on my report cards. I never have been good at hands-on art, but hey, I was a little kid.

I have no good words of wisdom. I don't know how many great art teachers are out there but I hope one finds your kids!

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#8 of 10 Old 03-03-2005, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, surprise, surprise, she did something creative today. I wonder if another parent or parents have said something - I know other parents who have commiserated with me. She gave them each a piece of cardboard and put a big bin of wooden shapes on the table and let them make free-form sculptures, and even made a point of saying that they didn't have to look like anything special, just be creative.

She just limited them to ten pieces of wood each, probably because she needed to conserve her materials for other classes, but that's fine. And she didn't get upset when a couple of kids ignored the limit.

So maybe there's some hope...
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#9 of 10 Old 03-04-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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Well, under the "catch more flies with honey" technique, I'd now drop her a note telling her how much you enjoyed the recent art project, how dc talked about it, etc. End with something like "I'd love to see more of the open-ended, less structured art projects. Let me know if you need any volunteers on art days. Thanks for all you do for the kids."

There is no pleasing everyone and you know if she started in on the more creative stuff, there would be some parents saying that she is not doing her job, that they could put out paints and paper at home, where is the "project", etc. I would just be really excited and comment on the more creative stuff in hopes that that would get more of that.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-05-2005, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was volunteering in the art room on the day she did this project - I go to school a lot to help out in art and computer and other things - and I did make a point of telling the art teacher how I really liked the project. We'll see what happens...
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