Claudia C Maciel on sat 7 nov 98
Your question of "Co-operation" regarding the daytime teachers at a
school site brought back some memories I had hoped were long gone!
When I lived in Massachusetts I was invited to teach handbuilding in an
evening program in a small "ish" town-Scituate, MA. The students were
wonderful, however, the daytime teacher in the art department was not
co-operative. "YOU are jeopardizing my program---WHAT IF the kiln
breaks, WHAT IF you leave clay on the tables, WHAT IF a wheel
breaks----and NO THERE ISN"T ANY available storage for your students-all
this was shouted at me in the art department directors' office--- where
this teacher literally lead me physically--by the elbow--!! That was the
first time I had met her and her angry exhibit of--agressive posturing,
folded arms-one foot forward-the works!!. I had to try to set up a
firing schedule with her and had come to her class the next morning to
talk-(after she hadn't answered my messages). Our WHOLE class got booted
out of there and relocated into the 7 grade art room, where the teacher
was obviously a little upset. I was waiting in the hall when he got the
phone call that we would be relocated to his space, and I knew I was in
for yet another battle--mind you, I was "invited" to teach, I wasn't
looking for this postion---, there was one broken wheel in his class
(which I repaired), and I had to cart all the work to my home studio to
get it fired-had to ask for additional $$ from the students for
that-which they weren't expecting to pay-and I was carting 5 gallon pails
of glaze because we couldn't leave anything in the room. Needless to say,
it really crushed the spirit of the clay class. . .and any possibility of
the class continuing. Several of the students came to my studio for
private lessons afterward.
The most critical piece of information was that the daytime
teacher wasn't aware of the formation of the evening class-which I was
not aware of since the evening administrator also taught during the day
in the high school and it is their job to organize the classes..
So-politics, territorial disputes-whatever the problem was between these
"professionals" fell like a hugh bomb on the clay class, and me.
I'm currently living in CA and have developed several clay
classes working with older adults(55+yrs), however, these are daytime
classes taught at senior centers, administered through the districts
older adult program ( which require all teachers affilated with the
program to have a CA designated subjects teaching certificate on file).
These classes are developed in co-operation with the host sites and the
older adult administration. My experiences with this program have been a
blessing and my classes have grown by leaps and bounds. We have storage
space, and what I consider a strong partnership. I would never in a
million years consider working within the context of a daytime
high school occupied site again. If equipment is going to BREAK-it
will-no matter who is using it!
Carol, good luck with your classes! Let me know how you are
Claudia, in a place where clay matters to everyone!
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