So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Teachers weigh in on woes of arts education


Maya Sugarman/KPCC

An Art Center teacher and graduate works with Washington Accelerated Elementary fourth grader Tandy Ellis to paint the words, "Earth Day," during a poster-making workshop at the La Pintoresca Library.

The online website The Art of Education recently asked arts teachers about challenges they face, and the dozens of responses posted online offer a glimpse at realities encountered in the classroom.

Teachers' responses ranged from lighthearted to serious, like dealing with tough budget cuts. In a post on Facebook, The Art of Education asked teachers: "What's the hardest thing you've ever had to do as an art teacher?" 

Online commenter Jill Brunnemer Wells was one of several commenters who cited funding problems: "Cutting curriculum to the bare bones because of limited funds, knowing full well, this isn't what's best for students," she wrote.

Other commenters talked about the challenges of traveling as an arts teacher. Many districts juggle arts teacher shortages by having teachers split their time between multiple campuses.

"Travelled 4 times a day, elementary to high school, high school to middle school, middle school to elementary then back to middle school. All buildings everyday," wrote Sally Eckman Pautsch.

Five commenters cited student deaths as the hardest thing they've had to deal with — school lockdowns and a bomb threat were also listed as challenges.

You can view a full list of the comments on the website's Facebook page.

Do you agree with any of the teachers? Let us know what your biggest challenges in the classroom are in the comments below. 

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