Re: [art_education] art therapy/alt art ed
- The charter schools & the JD 'baby jail' program are controlled by the school district here. The woman who hires for the school district made it very clear that she had no desire to recommend me as a teacher or therapist. She is able to exert that control, unfortunately. I talked to someone in the special ed department & he said there's not much I can do & that I'm not very marketable here with a graduate therapy degree, only 12 yrs in therapy & education experience, with a substitute licence & eligablility for TTE. The fact that I don't have a teachers license & can only get an emergancy licensure makes people hesitant to hire me. There is only a few non-public schools here. The residential programs don't return my messages & I could call them till I'm blue in the face. I know somebody who worked at 2 of the places & says they don't return calls & that the director is pretty snobby who can do treatment at the place (ie. not open minded about alternative methods). I know someone who has connections with one other place & she doesn't return my emails or phone calls.
The problem is this area. The jobs are limited & minimal & they are leary of outsiders (which I am an outsider). Funding for alternative programs is limited - not enough. Kids with special needs are not a priority here. Neither are the arts. Then, there's The Tabor Act which kills any possibility of funding. Many people homeschool for these very reasons. There is a huge percentage of people who homeschool, so alternative schools are not marketable. Internet homeschools get better supplies, etc. than kids in regular schools because the organization doesn't need to pay for rent, heat, teachers' salaries, etc.
I'm keeping my options open... I'm seriously considering moving to Boston. It looks like there are opportunities in art therapy and puppetry there. What about the educational jobs in Boston? Does anyone know the situation there? I've checked & bookmarked Mass. website along with art therapy & puppetry websites. If anyone has any e-lists or websites to recommend, do tell!
Seems the context within which you find yourself is very oppressive. (And we wonder why education is in the state it is in. . .) That is very unfortunate. Have you though about offering your services to those parents who are home schooling. I worked for a woman who opened her own business in which she taught art to many home schoolers. If parents really want their children to be exposed to the arts, then they will be willing to invest in such an experience that a business like this could offer. Other benifits: you are empowered to make important, critical and effective decisions based on issues including the class size, what to include in the curriculum according to state standards, approaches to creating nurturing and authentic learning environments, etc. Maybe you have already thought of this.
Also, have you looked into museums and their educational and outreach programs?
Keep working through it. Try to focus on the positive things that are happening currently (big or small) and build upon these. It's so very easy to become overburdened, even blinded, by all the negativity. Perservearance finds the solution in the end.
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