Are “Problem” Students Really a Problem?
As art teachers, we have a unique perspective on student behavior, because we get to see students in a much different environment than other teachers. The art room is a place where students can let loose a little. It is a place bursting with creativity and hands-on learning. It’s fun. So, when a classroom teacher comes to me and says something like, “Watch out for Johnny! He’s disruptive, rude and rarely does anything without being asked 50 times!” I always have mixed feelings.
On one hand, I do appreciate the forewarning, especially if it’s about a student that has a history of violence or a student that may have a medication change or other big shake up in his or her life. But, on the other hand, I kind of like to figure those things out on my own. Behaviors that students exhibit in other places in the school don’t always appear in the art room.
Have you ever been talking with other teachers, praising a student that does a wonderful job in your room, only to hear that he or she is a total nightmare in other classes? It’s happened to me on more than one occasion. In fact, some of my most favorite students are those who don’t do well out of the art room!
So I’m curious to know, how much information do you like to have on incoming students?
Do you want to know every detail, or do you like to start with a blank slate?
How helpful is all that extra information? With so many students, can you even remember it!?