In-general art room gripes!

Discussion in 'Art Teachers' started by Securis, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Jan 19, 2010

    Why do they always destroy the erasures? Why? In six years, someone always tears one in half, pokes holes in it with a pencil, draws on it, digs lines into, or breaks off little pieces. Why?
     
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  3. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Jan 19, 2010

    I dunno! You put out new pencils and by the end of the day you'd think you had beavers in your room. I don't even give them the erasers anymore! If someone asks I'll get one out and make sure I snatch it back up in my apron pocket!

    It's kind of the Like this? I hear this 8 million times a day and now just say..I don't respond to that question! Drives me CRAZY!
     
  4. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Jan 26, 2010

    They do that in regular ed too!
     
  5. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Jan 26, 2010

    I'm losing my marbles over students just not listening. I can say a direction and two minutes later a student will still say to me "What do I do next?"
     
  6. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jan 26, 2010

    Ummm...ditto Heather on that one too...
     
  7. Tom Dent

    Tom Dent New Member

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    Feb 7, 2010

    Maybe the situation with the pencils and erasers is just some random way of thinking for the student. When I was in grade school (and now in college) I tend to doodle on my papers, scratch the paint off of my paint brush handles, and the like. It's just something I do without thinking or realizing what I've done while I was in deep thought about something. Fiddling with things helps some people think better, especially kids.
     
  8. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Feb 9, 2010

    Personally, I think it's an anxiety response to the world around them. But then, I'm no psychologist. It is needless regardless of whether it's in regular ed or art ed. I just wish I knew a way to tap into that anxiety and use it in a positive way. I find myself telling them sometimes why I think they behave the way they do which I'm not sure if that works or not but maybe it will one time.
     
  9. Ace1

    Ace1 Rookie

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Sounds like nervous energy to me.
     
  10. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 10, 2010

    I have kids break apart my erasers too. Unfortunately, I've come to think of it as more of a destructive tendency. They just plain ol' like to break them apart.
     
  11. Samothrace

    Samothrace Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Which is why I only give them one if they ask for one..then scoop it back up two seconds later. Gotta love the pockets in my apron!
     
  12. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Feb 10, 2010

    Admittedly, I do much the same thing.

    My latest art room gripe, "I thought this was art class? Why are we reading?" IT burns us! It freezes us! Take it away!

    AND

    "This is art. It don't count." :eek:

    Both of which I heard today.
     
  13. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 11, 2010

    Ouch Securis! I hope today you hear nothing of that today!
     
  14. Samothrace

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    Feb 11, 2010

    Yeah I get that too. All our kiddos need grades to get rid of that that 'It don't count' sentiment. Then maybe their attitudes would change a little bit (Not that I'm one for grades grades grades! But I do think it gives some kids a swift kick in the butt. School and learning has always came naturally to me and I've never really struggled academically..except highschool freshman math where I missed a week of school b/c of the flu...I came back to a big CF of stuff. It was downhill from there. I scraped by with a B-. lol)

    That is when you should just go..oh, ok, maybe we should read some more so you understand better!
     
  15. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2010

    I had nice erasers on all my pencils (literacy teacher) and had my 7 FOURTH graders destroy 12 of them. At that point I decided not to have erasers on the pencils until the eraser is gone. I "get after" them now because I bought the erasers with my own money and threatened to charge 10 to 25 cents an eraser per destroyed eraser. Haven't had a problem since.
     
  16. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Feb 12, 2010

    In my school the like to break the erasers into bits and throw them. They also take the eraser off the top of pencils. Then they take the metal top & use it to carve into things...and eachother. :( It's sad b-c I provide all the supplies they need (paper, pencils, markers, rulers etc...) so all students have the chance to do the same quality work. They take & destroy the supplies. :(
     
  17. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2010

    All week, I have been getting prepared to bring some student work to an art contest in a nearby city. I can't help but have it out on "MY" tables. I need it out so that 1) it doesn't get left behind because I covered it up, 2) it doesn't get damaged. Really, there isn't any other place to put it for the time being. The deadline for submission is today and after school, I'm going to drive 35 minutes one way to drop it off and an hour or a little over to get home. I've put a significant amount of energy and some personal resources into making this happen.

    Today, two students found it funny to tear apart one of the creature sculptures that I have ready to go while I was helping another group type a group project.

    Senseless destruction! This made me so mad that I couldn't speak. I had ideas in my head so I put my hands in my pockets and went to the other side of the room to cool off. I did offer up a lot of hard stares while I was in time out.
     
  18. Samothrace

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    Mar 26, 2010

    To me that is vandalism so I'd be putting those kids in their place and dishing up some serious punishment.

    I feel your pain. I have clay drying on some shelves in my room and am waiting to see when a piece gets broken b/c some kid goes up and touches something that isn't theres.
     
  19. Artme

    Artme New Member

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    Mar 26, 2010

    Dear Securis- I think those children- vandals- should write a note of apology to the student whose work was damaged. A copy should be sent home for their parents to see/sign as well. And I would tell the story of what happened to each of my classes (omitting the names of the actual affected parties) with exaggerated shock and dismay. Kids need to know that's a huge act of disrespect and a total lack of compassion. Make an example of the situation.
     
  20. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2010

    You are proceeding from the assumption that these particular children have a shred of shame. I agree if it were another set of students, that might work. But with these two, they are hardened against anything of that nature. Let us describe them as habitual offenders in the bad behavior department. One of them even offered me $10 to smooth it over.
     
  21. Samothrace

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    Mar 27, 2010

    I can't help but laugh at the $10. Says something about our society where kids are learning...oh, I'll buy myself out of my troubles...::cough cough:: celebrities and athletes ::cough cough::
     
  22. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Yeah, I wanted to smile, too, but I couldn't because I was still pretty mad.
     
  23. Grover

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    I don't really see a place for erasers in elementary art class anyway. Just get rid of them.
     
  24. Samothrace

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    Apr 6, 2010


    are you an art teacher?
     
  25. Grover

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    I've taught art to elementary students in a very art-heavy curriculum, adult-ed art technique and private students. I am currently more artist than teacher.
     
  26. Crzy_ArtTeacher

    Crzy_ArtTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 7, 2010

    I allow erasers, otherwise I'd be dealing with constant meltdowns from my students with perfectionist tendancies.

    Plus, I don't feel like it's right to not allow them to erase. I know I erase in my own work, why take that away from them with theirs?
     
  27. Grover

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    I think erasers compound those perfectionist tendencies and put an undue focus on 'accuracy', whatever that might mean. Erasers push them toward tightening up rather than loosening up, and of course, in the end they don't even erase very well, at least with the materials usually used in elementary. Use of erasers in subtractive art is fine, but it's really a kind of high-end skill.
    I use all kinds of toxic chemicals in my own art, but I think it's okay not to allow my students to. I'm not entirely sure nude models would be appropriate in an elementary classroom either.
     
  28. NJArt

    NJArt Comrade

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  29. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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  30. ThisIsArtClass!

    ThisIsArtClass! New Member

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    Time is probably my biggest issue. We have 45 min classes which means 10 min to get started and 10 min to clean up. That leaves 25 minutes of active art making if I'm not instructing. I've learned to make week-long painting projects in order show anything of quality on the walls.
     
  31. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    This is why I won't buy expensive white erasers for my regular classes. Instead, I buy the cheap six packs of pink erasers, and I cut them in half. Give these kids a whole eraser, and they will tear them in half, anyway--so just give them half an eraser to begin with.

    Kids are destructive, especially kids in poor neighborhoods. When I was little, you didn't want to be a bug if I had a magnifying glass in hand. I think it's sort of the same impulse, but without any respect for personal property to reign it in.

    I still hand out erasers, but I will call out a child I catch tearing them up. Their parents don't teach them how to behave, so it's up to us.
     
  32. The Maestro

    The Maestro Rookie

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    Oh, yes. I've heard that one too. I usually just smile and look up their grades on the computer. Seems like every student who said that is failing or nearly failing all their other classes as well.

    Amazing, isn't it? :rolleyes:
     
  33. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Running out of ideas that require very little material to accomplish.
     
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  35. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Hi and welcome.

    My newest gripe is really an older gripe. Teacher's assistants that don't come to my class to help me with their children like they are supposed to.
     
  36. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Feb 25, 2011

    There are teachers who can't stand kids and don't want to be around them any more than they have to. There are others who are simply lazy or disinterested. Crazy, huh?

    I've only been in one building that had instructional aids, and those were for special needs children.
     
  37. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2011

    I'm not an art teacher, but I have the same gripe about erasers. I teach special ed. and kids come to me for small group lessons at different times throughout the day. I've gone through so many pencils/erasers that I bought with my own money. I was putting out new boxes every other week. I finally made a rule that students had to bring their own pencil/eraser to my class. If they don't have one, I take some sort of "collateral" from them and they get whatever it is back when they give me the pencil/eraser back.
     
  38. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Feb 26, 2011

    I have to say, the gum erasers crumble in the most delightful way. :whistle:

    I considered teaching art and then decided not to various reasons. I noticed older schools didn't haven't adequate storage space, funds always seemed to be a concern, and teachers use special classes to pull students from in order to make up work, or worse, even as punishment.
     
  39. The Maestro

    The Maestro Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2011

    This is usually a junior/senior grade level project, but it can be altered for younger classes, and costs relatively little to do, as well as being very long-term. In fact, if I know I'm going to have jury duty, I try to schedule this lesson for the sub to do as it requires relatively little teaching once I've set the class up with the art basics.

    Go to a comic book store and pick out a comic that looks like a good level for your kids to draw, as well as having nothing inappropriate. Buy five copies of it. You'll need two to rip up and hand to the kids to draw each page (remember, some pages are printed back to back and you'll need someone to make a drawing on each side) and two more for when you post them on the wall next to the kids artwork as a comparison. Finally, keep one for yourself just in case a page gets "lost" and you need to make a copy. Now just have the kids draw the page on 12" by 18" paper, at roughly twice the size. uaually take around three weeks, although you can spread it out with other projects if you wish.
     
  40. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    Mar 26, 2011

    That's a pretty good project. I might do that if time permits.

    In keeping with the thread intent.....

    Why do kids use scissors upside-down and backwards so naturally and are so resistant to using them correctly? Why?
     
  41. The Maestro

    The Maestro Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2011

    Thanks!

    You got me on the scissors thing. I'm still running into it in 7/8. Even last week, some kid came up to me saying "These scissors don't WORK!" just before I took them and cut a piece of scrap paper perfectly with them. The kid was flummoxed. I still don't get it.

    Come to think of it, is teaching how to use a ruler going the way of the dodo? I practically have to run a short unit on how to use one nowadays because the kids who are coming in can't find, for instance, 1 1/2 inches on a ruler. I even have hard-paper ones copied off where I wrote with my own hands " 1" - 1 1/4" - 1 1/2" - 1 3/4" - 2" "on them and some of the kids STILL can't find 1 1/2".
     

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