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School - why can't I get rid of students???

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Okay, I know my class is more fun than most - art just is more fun than, say, algebra or social studies. (Well, I enjoyed algebra, but you know what I mean.)

But it is 10 minutes after the bell rang, 12 minutes after I said it was time to clean up, 5 minutes after the next class should begin - and I have about 2/3 of my class still in my room!!!!!! No matter what I say, I can't get them heading out!

So the question is, why don't their next teachers make the students feel a need to get to class on time?

I don't care how boring the subject matter is, the teacher can make it fun and exciting and interesting. Get the students involved! There are all kinds of hands on projects where the students research or interview or calculate or whatever. There's no reason students shouldn't want to go to class.

Plus the teacher needs to be the authority figure - as in be in class, take attendance, deal with tardiness, and create an atmosphere where students are responsible for their attendance.

Just frustrating.

Plus I had a crew of girls who were in my room rehearsing a dance all last week (during lunch periods, okay, but later out of someone else's class - what???) - at least they did win 3rd place, and one of the girls gave me a big hug for letting them rehearse in my room.

And I have a bunch of students who come in during lunch, either to visit or work, because "out there is boring."

So - I'm glad to provide that atmosphere for my students, where they feel cared about and motivated and creative and responsible.

I just don't understand why their core subject area teachers aren't doing that too.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My art teacher saved my life; glad you're carrying on that very important tradition. Thanks (on behalf of my 11 year old self!!).
    2935 days ago
    It is SO interesting to hear what it it's like on the other side of the desk... I was one of THOSE kids... I would have hung out in the art room all day if I hadn't been terrified of getting in trouble for not being in the next class on time...

    I LOVED the whole vibe there... and it was a little tiny piece of happiness for a kid who read too much and thought too much and felt too much in a town where none of those things had much value outside the art room...

    Thank you for letting them stay...

    2936 days ago
  • CAROLINE1000
    I think it's just the obviously magnetic draw of the art room. In high school I remember just loving it (better light, self-motivating atmosphere, more open teacher, smarter more creative types than the white-hats in the lunchroom). I would finish paintings during study periods, lunches, any time. School is hard - so many hormones raging you feel positively bi-polar. I think that's why I liked the calm introversion of the art room. In there it wasn't just the boring things - you bring yourself to your art (that and English) which is so important to those still forming. Still figuring out who they are.

    Geeze. Haven't thought about sequestering myself to the art room for ages. You are doing a great service at letting these kids creatively form! Kudos!
    2936 days ago
    It's a huge compliment to you that they stay.
    2937 days ago
    I'm sure that the fact that the kids don't want to leave your classroom has as much to do with you as the subject itself. I'm sure that a dull or uncommitted or unempathic teacher could make even art a bore!

    I'm sure I'd like to be in your class, even tho' I'm a few years too old!!

    Batya emoticon
    2937 days ago
    LOL, Rocky, thank you!

    I think part of it is that I pick my battles - I see too many teachers throw students out of class for minor things (imagine suspending a student because their socks aren't the "uniform" color) - I set reasonable rules and stick to them, and don't worry about stupid piddly things that some other teachers get in a hissy fit about.

    I just don't understand why some people, who obviously don't like kids, become teachers!
    2937 days ago
    It probably is very frustrating but has been said art is just more fun. You can't be responsible for other teachers not caring if students show, although that makes no sense. Also from just meeting you, I wouldn't want to go to any other class - you are just too much fun!!
    2937 days ago
    Art is a fun class, but I am sure a lot of it has to do with you. You must have a very welcoming environment in your classroom. My DS teaches 5th grade math and science and the kids definitely flock to him too. He has found ways to make it fun. I had a few (too few) teachers like that when I went to school. It is too bad there aren't more teachers out there like you.
    2938 days ago
    And I can say that regardless of what student you ask, most of them will say art is the most fun class. Every art teacher I've ever had was well loved by the students, and her/his class was, without exception, the flop house of the school! They ALL experienced the phenomenon you describe.
    2938 days ago
    Nope, IMO you can't alway make dull subjects interesting. You nailed it when you said art is just more fun. You're lucky you aren't teaching one of those other dull subjects, and wracking your brain to TRY to hold the interest of pre-teens.
    Even some of the classes in my MAJOR, which overall is a subject I love or I wouldn't have chosen it as my major, are dull (and some outside my major are fascinating).
    As a friend of mine use to say, "You can put parsley on sh*t, but you still have sh*t."
    2938 days ago
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