Bravo, Larry, That was great. Do you think youmay have had some part of your
success because you"re a man? I'd love feedback from other teachers on that
----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Decker" <judydeckeriad@...>
To: "Art -World Teachers" <email@example.com>;
"ArtEducation" <firstname.lastname@example.org>; "ArtsEducators"
Sent: Sunday, February 01, 2004 12:52 PM
Subject: [art_education] Answers to discipline woes (MS and up)
> Dear Art Educators,
> I was bummed when my links didn't work to the posts...
> so I am copying and pasting...WARNING this is a
> longone (smile).
> From Admiral Larry Seiler (or Genral of the Armies -
> at least a five star):
> Started the new quarter, and everyone warned me about
> the 8th graders I'd be getting.
> Having received the early word...I set up parameters
> for a preeminent strike and frontline assault,
> initiated first with heavy textbook artilery and
> orders to take no prisoners.
> In fact...the first wave attack went so well, I wonder
> why my war generals have not come up with such a
> battle plan in the past. The students were dazed, some
> wondered what hit them? A few accused me of enacting a
> prison system, but by week's end...I could tell that
> the majority of students were relieved that the prime
> offenders were not going to be allowed to usurp
> authority and take over the class.
> By week's end...I am very pleased with the effort
> being put out, the more serious atmosphere. By week's
> end, I was able to explain the atmosphere I wanted and
> demanded that would ensure the environment for right
> brain creative focus with optimum possible results.
> I'm sure some of you have constructed such a battle
> plan...perhaps have even shared it...but I wonder
> where my head was?
> Oh...I have used various methods with varied
> success...but the textbook "I will teach you how to
> study" approach rendered their defenses weak. I had a
> small uprising attempt to outflank me, but reserved
> reinforcements quickly quelched their meger effort.
> Here's what I did....I have the text book "Art
> Talk"...and hardly ever use it really, having been
> more frequently hands on with exceptions of history
> lessons and such. I remembered a system for studying
> in college that I didn't learn 'till about my junior
> year that took a blank sheet of paper, drew a vertical
> line 2" from the left side of the paper. As you take
> in a lecture or study a book, you sum up what you hear
> (but in this case...) what you just read in one
> paragraph. Sum it up with one good sentence that will
> remind you what that paragraph was about. Then, on the
> other side within that 2" border area, you write one
> or two descriptive words of your summary sentence.
> That really gets them to think about what they are
> reading, and especially so because they will have to
> characterize this with few words.
> The beauty...is I will give them a test. They will not
> be able to use the book, but will get to use their
> notes. Of course, in college...we didn't get to use
> our notes, but this is all so new to them.
> I begin each day's block with their hittn' the books
> for 15 minutes. We are in chapter six on shapes and
> During this time I am assessing their efforts to
> convince me they want to begin hands-on. I let them
> know certainly that making art will be a privilege to
> be earned in my room. If I am not convinced, I told
> them that art can be book learned, or hands on learned
> and it is their choice. If their privilege to work is
> not earned, I'll tack on an addition 5-10 minutes or
> if necessary we'll use the whole period. It is
> possible to isolate one table, and have that group
> work the text longer.
> Amazing...the students began policing themselves. I
> began to see peer pressure work within their ranks.
> One table this week initiated some negative reaction,
> but the rest of the tables told them to be quiet and
> just get to work. I have seen kids who thought it was
> fun sitting with trouble makers now opt to sit
> elsewhere. Offenders are finding less pay off for
> their offenses.
> Now...if I have students that finish their work early,
> and especially if I determine it is due to a lack of
> caring to do their best, they know that what awaits
> them is the instruction to get their textbook back out
> and continue on where they left off.
> I have seen students go back, get their drawings/work
> back out of their drawer and take it back to their
> table to put more work into it.
> I have had a few teachers come into my room this week
> that had this group this past quarter, and their eyes
> grew big to witness the civility and studiousness.
> I haven't done this before...not in many many years,
> so I don't know yet what I don't know...but so far so
> good. The zone appears fortified, the objectives
> appear to be well in sight.
> My websites-
> From Judy - My "thinking kids" actually liked book
> work - that is something they could easily do
> (smile)-making art was harder for them. Larry is a
> wonderful art educator and loves his job. He knew he
> would not have any of the problems the "real" teachers
> were complaining about....I am just glad he had so
> much fun telling us -- that what we do is RIGHT!
> Making art is a privilege! One that should be enjoyed
> by all.
> I know Larry does not view his bookwork as
> "punishment" per se.
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