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Back to School... for ME

 Week one of grad school down!
I have been meaning to do this for years and it just never seemed like good timing and I couldn't decide on the best course. The field of education in Tennessee is crazy right now with new evaluations and student assessments. I will not go into that here. In spite of it all, I love my job and the field I have chosen and I will ride the wave and do my best for me and my students.  I feel like the arts are being pushed to the curb and not being viewed as a necessity. It is a fear of mine that years in the future art could be in jeperdy. I'm a prepared person and I've always had a plan B. I could pursue a masters in Art Education, but I have to think what will be the most beneficial for myself. 
I'm pursuing a masters in curriculum and instruction with a K-6th teaching endorsement. Once my degree is complete I will receive a pay increase, but what is most important to me is that I will have better job security. A masters in Art ed will not save me if they decide my school no longer needs art. If, IF, the arts were to ever go by the wayside, I would be able to teach in the regular ed classroom.
I have always enjoyed learning about the regular ed classroom. While many art teachers grumble and groan about extra duties such as assisting in the regular ed room, I enjoy it, and I understand why we need to help them. I'm very pleased that my principal has not shortened any of the specialists classes to make this happen and I still have my planning time. Assisting in these classrooms has opened my eyes to new teaching strategies, behavior management, and a better understanding of our regular ed counter parts. It has also shown the regular ed teachers that, HEY, these specialists really are teachers and we should support them too! I no longer feel like I am on my own floating island at my school. I can honestly say that I have all the regular ed teachers full support of me and our arts program. 
Yes, the arts are important! We need art in education. But we are educators first. A well rounded education is the most important thing, and now I'm doing that for myself.  
 My inspirations.


11 comments:

Mrs. C said...

We have a lot of changes happening here in NJ also in terms of assessment and evaluation. I'm am taking it one step at a time and working it all in while making sure not to lose the creativity in my lessons and assessments. I have also worked along side regular ed teachers helping out as support in LA and math one year when budget cuts were drastic and the regular ed teachers lost a lot of their in class support. many of my special subject colleagues found this to be an imposition but I found the whole experience to be very eye opening.( it didn't take any time from our own programs because of cuts and consolidation of classes we had some extra class slots that were utilized for this purpose) I got to see what happens in their rooms during their lessons and they got to see me interact with the students. It opened up our eyes and I think we all discovered some things about each others teaching that we never knew before. Hope you have a good year! :)

Brannan Lawson said...

I too have a master's in curriculum and instruction but teach art. Knowing that I do have that back up plan allows me to enjoy my job even more each day. I think any continuing education in the field of education will benefit you and your students. Good for you for taking the big step and realizing you have to be prepared for whatever.

Brannan Lawson said...

I too have a master's in curriculum and instruction but teach art. Knowing that I do have that back up plan allows me to enjoy my job even more each day. I think any continuing education in the field of education will benefit you and your students. Good for you for taking the big step and realizing you have to be prepared for whatever.

Vicky Siegel said...

Great post! So true in Wisconsin, too! I am trying to tie in the math and English common core standards, too, where I can, to help with art credibility if it were ever cut. Art teachers work so hard! :)

Vicky Siegel said...

Great post! Same issues in Wisconsin, too! Art teachers work so hard!

Deanna Price said...

Insightful post! I think pursuing education as a teacher is wonderful, no matter what field you choose.I just started my MEd in Teacher Leadership in Art Education in May. It is such a beneficial degree to get as an art educator because you really delve into issues, such as art advocacy and policy, which help to keep the arts in public school. Also, pursuing a Masters degree and or Ph.D. in Art Education leads to the opportunity of teaching at a Community College or University.

Ginart said...

I'm a Tennessee art teacher too. I just wondered if you would be willing to share your lesson plan template.
Thanks,
Gina Dickey

Ginart said...

I'm a Tennessee art teacher too. I just wondered if you would be willing to share your lesson plan template.
Thanks,
Gina Dickey

Becca Ruth said...

Sure Ginart! I use a template that I downloaded from Deep Space Sparkle for my art classes. It's in her post about her curriculum workbook.

Anonymous said...

Going for my masters has always been in the back of my mind, I worry about being less marketable as an art teacher, though. I see many of you went back for education, what made you decide to go for education instead of an MFA?

Becca Ruth said...

When I was searching for what I wanted my masters in I asked my then assistant principal for advice. She said it's better to have a masters that will give you flexibility and not limit you. If I got a MFA then I would still only be certified to teach art. What if my school was told it could not have art that year the day before school started? Of course I would end up looking for another art job somewhere else, but in the mean time I could teach K-6th maybe even at my current school. If I had a second endorsement I could teach anywhere in my county. So it's a back up plan for me. I want to know that if they pull art at the last minute I will have a job until the next thing comes along.

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