Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Second Thoughts

Maybe I spoke too soon. Maybe I don't have this teaching job after all. Pardon me while I sort through my thoughts and maybe rant a bit.

Last week, the principal of the high school called me to see if I was interested in teaching art half a day. That would be four classes. Since there are seven periods a day and most teachers have a prep period, teachers normally teach 6 classes a day. The principal kept saying I would be paid on a 4 to 7 pay scale. Based on my teaching experience and the classes I would teach for him, he gave me an approximate salary. Okay, whatever.

Yesterday I went in to visit with the principal and see the classroom. This may sound funny, but years ago, when I went in to interview for a teaching position at Questa, when I saw the classroom, I knew I could teach there - it was mine. Same with Taos - I was not sure about taking a teaching position in Taos, but when I saw the classroom, I felt at home. It was my domain. When I saw the art room yesterday, I was not impressed. It was going to take lots of work. Seeing the classroom did not give me warm fuzzy feelings, but it was more like the room was a step-child and I would have to work to love it.

In talking with the principal, I shared my thoughts/fears on planning and keeping kids occupied. He poop-pooed my fears saying that "art should be fun" and that I would "have free reign." "Art was not like English." I agreed. English is structured - you have curriculum - open a book and teach. How hard could it be? But art is not structured. There is no book, no ready-made curriculum. Everything would have to come from my head. Everything would have to be planned from the ideas for projects to the buying of supplies to teaching to oversight to finished project. That is why it is such a big challenge. It's not like I get to walk in each day and say, "Let's draw a pig today. And tomorrow, we might throw a pot on the wheel. Hey you there, be careful with that exacto knife; you could cut yourself or someone else..." This art stuff is serious business to me.

So this morning, I called the principal and said, "Okay, I will take the job." He offered and I accepted. He said I needed to visit with the superintendent and the business person to get my paperwork done. So I said lets do this now and went in to meet the Super. The Super seemed nice enough, but he had the attitude that I had not been offered the job. Once again he talked as if art was not important - not like English. English teachers have to deal with testing, etc. Pffft! I told him I could handle that easily if he offered me an English position. He then told me I would be paid $1000 less than what the principal had said. Hmm, so I would be teaching four classes of high school aged kids with no prep time except my own time. That seems more like a 4 to 6 pay scale rather than 4 to7.  And I pointed that out to him. Well, he said that maybe they could get my pay up a bit. Now I have a lifetime Texas Teachers Certificate and 6 1/2 years experience teaching in public schools. He then said he would need to call the State and see about  my teaching certificate. Maybe the State would give me a waiver for a year - they give lots of them. Later I might have to take a test or something to get an OK teaching certificate. He would have to see. He would get back with me in the next few days.

So lets get this straight - art is not important, you can just have fun, our kids are good kids, it won't take any extra time, very little planning, etc. But art is important enough that you have to have the right teaching certificate. Texas must not be as good as OK. I tell you now, I'm not taking a stupid test to prove I can teach art - ever! Either go to bat for me, or forget it.

I'm feeling a little queasy today. I'm thinking they don't take teaching nearly as serious as I do. Or maybe they don't expect much. And yet they are all about stupid rules. I told you I was hormonal.

12 comments:

wandererer said...

The Principle negotiated you an acceptable package, the Superintendent then nixed it. Obviously the Principles decisions have no weight.

I'd remove their number from my phone. Amateur hour.

Bag Blog said...

Wanderer, you are right. The Super may come up with the money. He said he thought he could. We will see.

wandererer said...

For the life of me I can't remember too much about high school anymore, and thus very little about what we did in art class. I seem to recall it was more crafts than wall art. The one thing I do remember is the teacher, who was quite a character.

I looked her up in facebook, and there she was, same last name, but now she has a wife (hee). I'm depressed though, in her early 80's now she looks in a lot better shape than me. One picture has her on her mountain bike. Grrr...

I hope all turns out for you, I checked their web page out of curiosity and it showed only one art teacher, and the other teachers seem to have longevity, so they must like it there.

Bag Blog said...

Wanderer,
Art in high school can be lots of crafts, but even crafts take lots of prep time. Your old art teacher sounds interesting.

wandererer said...

The class I remember the most was in my junior year where we could take photography. I really enjoyed the photo assignments we were given, and thought I was doing well, but I got a C in the first semester. How do you get a C in photography my dad asked?? I showed him my journal.

My dad said my photo's looked like a two year-old took them. Ouch, but I blame it on left-brain syndrome.

Bag Blog said...

Wanderer,
I love the video. What kind of teacher would give you a C if you were enjoying and doing your photography?

Jo Castillo said...

I'm wishy washy about this. You should do what you enjoy, something like your dad said. It sounds like you would have free rein so that is a good thing. You always come up with great ideas for your students.

In Bastrop they have a small budget and the art clubs donate supplies and stuff.

I never had art past elementary, I would have loved it and the teacher! :)

Moogie P said...

I taught college students, but only had high schoolers in a volunteer capacity.

Tough call. Good luck!

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