to be an ART Teacher

End of another week.
We were told however that at 4pm we all had to make our way into the new auditorium in our Sunday best to hear speeches in Chinese with forms of English translation.  Speeches of people patting themselves on the back for meeting student recruitment figures ahead of schedule.  It sounded to me like a corporate pep-rally of sorts.  I suppose it is important in an uncomfortable kinda way as this business does provide me with a job.  But I sometimes wonder about the distinction between for profit education and public education.  Just like I sometimes wonder about the Ministry of British Columbia Education mandating specific parametres for art education.  Maybe it is because I am still new to this, but I am just not sure how to understand the quantifying of artistic exploration, experimentation, growth and reflection.  On the other hand, they do provide a pedagogical road map that I do appreciate.
This week the 11 & 12s presented their flipbook animations while the grade 10s have several assignments related to the element of art called Line.
I think I made a potentially stupid mistake.  I asked the students if they were interested in a field trip.  You see I would like to help them realise the strength of Chinese artists in China and now reaching out to other venues around the world. Chinese artists are beginning to make a mark globally, so I would like to take them to the National Museum of China in Beijing actually quite near Tiananmen Square. Anyway, I probably should have waited until I talked with the principal first to see if it is possible.  I was just trying to see if they were interested, but maybe I should have waited.  I only realised later that it would not only mean missing our class at school, but classes of other teachers as well.  I tried to see the principal today, but no luck.
At lunch today, thanks to a nice student councillor - Cherry (Liu, Yu), she was able to call over the Chinese art teacher and translate something that has been on my mind for awhile.  Just as I am interested in making students aware of Chinese artists and the contributions they are making, I also want to start working a little more closely with the Chinese art teacher(s).  I think there is room for our B.C. art department (that's me) and their art department to start collaborating on projects and ideas.  Although the art teacher I met today did not speak English, I think we can manage as we should be able to find someone to translate.  Anyway, hoping to meet with her next week sometime.
I also got a nice order of supplies in - pretty quick turn-around ... I am impressed.  Just hope the Gesso doesn't take too long, I guess I am learning a few things here :)
Finally, I was thinking about a conversation I may typically have when back home in Victoria:
Me: ... I was teaching in China.  Other:  Oh ... an English teacher.  Me:  No. Other:  No!, what were you doing?  Me:  I'm an art teacher. ...
I like the sound of that.  I like being known as an art teacher.  I wonder if by the end of the semester I won't feel so undeserving of that title.


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