Re: Teaching High School
- Hi Jon,
I have taught art in 4 different schools, in 3 different states and all
grade levels. Each grade level is different with their own pros and
cons. This is my 28th year of teaching art. I have been teaching 7-12th
grade for the last 18 years. I earned my Masters in Admin. and I am a
National Board Certified Teacher. I've enjoyed teaching art and I am
looking forward to retirement in the near future.
First of all, you have to decide what age group you like better...then
go with that decision. How do you know what you like better if you never
had tried it??? For many years I would have told you that I perferred Jr
High students because of their enthusiasm to try anything. I enjoyed
elementary the least - it just wasn't my thing. But once I taught high
school I knew this is where I needed to be. There is a lot of
differences between grades 9 - 12th; it's a delight to see them change,
develop and mature.
Over the years, I have been fortunate to have established some lifelong
friendships with former students (many who have gone on to careers in
art). You just don't get that with teaching the younger ones. I love the
work the older students produce and they often seem to challenge my
artistic insight. I think you would find a deep personal satifaction in
working with the older kids. Plus, it's good (and I might add, rare) to
share the "real life" experience that you have as a working artist with
the young adults.
Good luck and God Bless.
- Amber, Alexa, and Noel.
Thank you very much for your thoughts. I think, in my heart, it's high school what I've been looking for -- because of all of the things you mentioned. It's made my choice a little bit easier.
I also got contacted for a first interview today. :-)
--- In email@example.com, "modigliani27" <email@...> wrote:
> Hey folks. I'd just like to ask for your opinion about teaching high school students. But first, the back story:
> I've been teaching K-5 for about 4 years and I'm currently at a fantastic charter school in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ. They pay is decent (and potentially excellent), my Principal values me (a lot), and the kids are pretty awesome -- as kids go, anyway. I was here when the school opened and I a absolutely believe in our mission and I am committed to it -- as do the other teachers -- and that is why we are doing extremely well. Needless to say, I can see myself staying here for quite a while.
> However, I have an MFA in painting -- which I received ten years or so before I got teaching certification. I'm also a professional, exhibiting, artist. So, this whole art thing is something I really take very seriously and, sometimes, I have a desire to teach older students. I like the idea of doing more advanced lessons because I know I can do a really good job. Plus, as much as I am well loved by the little kids, they sometimes act like little monkeys -- especially at the end of the day. I thought I was a very patient guy, but they sort of stress me out.
> So, here comes a school that is opening up near ours, with another campus ranked by Newsweek as one of the Top 5 best high schools in the *entire country*(!). They have a 100% graduation rate; pay their teachers crazy money; and because of their AP focused curriculum, graduating seniors already have a year's worth of college credit. They will have about 500 grades 5-12 students. So yeah, tempting, right?
> My predicament is, the grass is not always greener somewhere else. I'm not desperate for another job, but I can't pass up the opportunity -- even to just have options for this coming Fall. So I went ahead and applied. My doubts are: will I be valued in this school like I am now in my current school? I've taught high school art, temporarily, for about a month and did my student teaching in one, but are high school students really all they are cracked up to be? I know they are more "drama" oriented, but my ears are getting tired of screaming kids. :-)
> I know there are always risks in taking another job. And I know this might be premature since I haven't even been offered an interview yet. However, may I ask, for those of you who teach high school (currently or previously), what your experiences are? What's good? What's bad? What drives you crazy? Just so I can get a little insight.
> Thanks, in advance.
> ps. I actually shouldn't make a big deal of the classroom management thing. The kids are not *always* crazy -- and I really do love them. Even the naughty ones. I also know that it takes a while to be a Master Teacher and I'm confident that I would eventually reach that point with more experience. I have seen some amazing growth from the kids I teach after 2.5 years I've been at this school. I just don't want you to think that I am complaining about something that is, in a way, trivial. I'm just wondering if this potential change is something I should even consider.