Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pros vs. Cons

I'm still here... just forgot to post in blog world. I have been dealing with some reeling news. After 11 years of teaching secondary level art, I am being forced to go to an elementary school. Granted, I am certified to teach art K-12th grade, but I never thought I'd teach the lower levels. I just didn't want that. Now, I find myself low woman on the totum of hiring in the HS art dept. and I'm being sent down. I feel like I'm being demoted. I am sad to leave my HS staff, kids, room, and curriculum. I love the HS schedule and challenges. I am truly happy at that level. This is change and change is scary for me. Well, I'm sure it's scary for alot of people who don' t have jobs now. SO I should be grateful that I have a job and one that I like but yesterday when I sat in that meeting where administrators who haven't taught in a classroom told us that we are losing a person and unless someone volunteers to go to the Elementary, it will be the least senior person going... that's me. I am mad and frustrated! I am sad and angry with administrators. However, I have to find the light at the end of the tunnel, the silver lining, the cup half full in all this. Here are my pros and cons list that I made up last night:

Cons (I believe in getting the bad out there first and then looking for positives):
1. the Schedule! I will only see the same kids every 4 days for 40 mins. NOT very productive.
2. Moving all my stuff out of my HS room and into another room.
3. Creating new curriculum... for 7 levels with ONE prep period a day! YIKES!
4. I'll have to drive a bit farther away to this school... my HS is literally 3 miles from my house.
5. New staff, new Principal, new room... scary!
6. I have never taught at elementary level... not even in student teaching.
7. Coming off of maternity leave, I will be starting over at a new place.
8. Runny noses, little fingers, quirky behavior... could be messy and exhausting. ( I have this at home, why would I want a room full of them???)
9. Level of art will not be of the HS level... I will have to lower my expectations for outcomes, but can still challenge them just won't be of the caliber I am used to.
10. Student teacher can't be placed with me... he needs HS.
11. Grant will have to be adjusted to 6th grade rather than 9th.
12. National Certification is Secondary not Elementary... will that affect it?

Pros (the upside of it all):
1. Same schedule as my 4 year old who will be starting Kindergarden in the fall... same parent conference days, same 1/2 days, etc...
2. FUN! I don't have to worry about graduation requirements or mandates.
3. NO grading... just do art to do art. No dragging 150 sketchbooks home to grade and entering 300 grades or more in a 5 week term!
4. Kids LOVE art! Seriously love it... so excited to get there and make messes and create!
5. Not too many discipline issues... kids misbehaves... send said kid out and they don't participate. Kids WANT to do art and don't want to miss out.
6. Excited parents, staff, and kids... much more enthusiasm and support there.
7. Empty Bowls Project... I started doing this in MS and they have it there at the school I will be going to... I taught the teacher who is retiring there how to do this project so I can't wait to get into that again!
8. Helpers... older kids love to help younger ones.
9. More grant opportunities at K-6 level.
10. Get to do fun projects that require kids to try new things. At this age, they love to try new things. THEY don't whine about how they are not good artists.
11. No Scholastics art competition... I won't have to stress about this!
12. No weekly meetings with HS staff, Union, or curriculum meeetings. Just a monthly meeting and faculty meetings. No biggie!
13. No school store... I will not have to worry about that.
14. NO gym requirement forced on us this coming year.
15. The kids! Full of energy and enthusiasm! THey are cute and funny...
16. No student teacher... just focus on my classroom.

Okay, so that is my list. More pros than cons. More of a chance to have fun and play with the kids without the serious deadline factor and grading over my head. Notice that all the cons have to do with ME and all the pros deal with KIDS. So, how can that be bad? Ok, so it's not the level of work I want to work with, but I'm sure I'll be surprised at what they can do and what I can do. Visual Journals will still be made in 5th and 6th grade next year, a grant will need to be adjusted for 6th grade rather than 9th grade, and a new opportunities to try some things I have always wanted to do with younger kids. I could shine at this level...I could LOVE it! I just hope I can do it ! I dread packing up my room... 11 years of stuff. Pack, ship, unpack, order new stuff?? WOW! Not what I expected to happen for next year.

Okay, so on to other news. Mosh Posh is having a blog party... LOTS of prizes and fun there...check it out:

Still working on Etsy stuff... Hope to have more up next week. I'm behind on alot of things. I have some new things in the works.. just waiting to announce those when I get the go ahead. Secrets kill me! I am not good on keeping them... I just want to yell them to the world! Okay, hold off... I'll tell you that it's BIG and new...

I didn't post a new tutorial yet. I may have to hold off for a bit as I find myself so busy with a 4 year old home all day everyday this summer and a baby who is deciding that sleep is unnecessary but fussiness is not. It's challenging on so many levels. I am tired, short on patience, and annoyed that I'm home all day alone with too kids who do unexpected and annoying things but adorable and fun things too. It is tough being a SAHM... only for another 3 months. Then, I get to be a sodo mommy to 300+ kids all day every day in small doses. Hmmm... I have to believe life has reasons for all change.

Have a good day!


Karen D. said...

PLEASE tell me you are going to be one of the Artistes on Bad Girls!!! I won't tell anyone, I swear, but I think (no, I KNOW) you would be perfect for what Wendy is envisioning!!! (scrappymomtn on Bad Girls)

Anonymous said...

I was literally on the fence between picking dentistry in London or art teaching in Dublin for my university course, and that helped me make up my mind. I'm going to be an art teacher :) it'll be less pay but it's what I want to do. Thank you..

Nneka Kusema Gamble said...

How did your transition to Elementary go? Do you still feel the same way? I am a middle school art teacher, and I am thinking about going to elementary!

Nneka Kusema Gamble said...

How did your transition to Elementary go? Do you still feel the same way? I am a middle school art teacher, and I am thinking about going to elementary!