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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.


2

Last Minute Changes

I just had to share my last minute change to my "Free Choice" center. 
This treasure of a book cart was just sitting in our work room with a "who wants it" paper on it. So I snatched it.
I used to have my free choice center in my shelves along the wall. That was okay cause I didn't have room for it anywhere else. But that area was always getting congested. I ditched my rolling easel and brought in this baby. I've used it only one day and have had no traffic jams. 
 The front is perfect for my drawing books. Finally they wont be falling over!
 Right side. Easy access to materials.
Left side. I love how students can access three sides at once so they don't have much temptation to push and shove at clean up. 
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