Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hallways, OH, those HALLWAYS

It's always from this time of year on that I feel so much PRESSURE about the hallway displays.  See this picture?  Those paper people (lesson can be found here) will stay up all year (I take them down the last week of school and return them).  The statues of liberties look great, but I'm putting up new fifth grade stuff, so they kind of need to come down. And at the far end are our first grade owls that are so adorable that I really don't want to take them down yet, although they've been up so very long. This shot is from right out my classroom turning right.
Coming from the main office down the ramp to my room looks like this right now:

Fourth grade mural STILL UP.  Embarrassing, really, how long they've been up and a lot of students drew Halloween things (their own choosing), so REALLY, ENOUGH ALREADY.

 And the other side of the hall, some of the new American Gothics going up slowly as third grade half persons, half animals slowly come down.  Several years ago I stopped taking stuff down until I could simultaneously put new stuff up because the blank walls are just SO BORING.  Down at the end are some Japanese Sumi-e scroll paintings that we did in sixth grade that I never found time to blog about.  It's just so much.  Like, all the time, while I'm still trying to be the best art teacher I can be.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful, because I know all teachers have stressors.  Believe me, I wouldn't want to be a classroom teacher, I think I may be allergic to all the testing they're doing.  And I really don't think that's what best for kids. And principals are under so much stress for all the new stuff they're supposed to be learning and implementing.   The past few weeks, I've had kits from our local art museum, where third grade worked like archeologists and sixth grade's been exploring the China kit so I invited administrators (we have three), health room clerks and counselors NINE TIMES and NO ONE CAME.  I was complaining to my husband about it because it's the first time in 14 years that NO ONE came and that's when I realized it's all just too much for everybody.  Is this really good for students?  To have all the adults in the school this overwhelmed? Or is this just a growing pains phase that we'll get past?  For my students' sake, I hope they're growing pains and we'll get past this.  I hope and pray this is not the new normal.  I really sincerely try to keep students' best interest at the forefront of my mind in everything I do in my class, but it's so very hard with all the district and state pressures.
Maybe the hallway displays aren't the worst problem to have after all.

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