Dear 5th Grade Teacher

Dear 5th Grade Teacher,
      Hi. How ya’ doin’? It’s me, your friendly “neighborhood” art teacher. I feel it is important to keep classroom teachers informed, not only of good and bad behavior in the art room, but also of what their classes are doing in art, especially when it ties in with what is being taught in the regular classroom. I wanted to take a moment to commend you on how professional and polite you were during my summary of class this afternoon.
     When you arrived to pick your students up, and I began to fill you in on what your students were completing, your response really made me feel like the work that goes on in my art room is highly valued. I could really tell that you were listening and cared about what I was saying even though you managed to not once make eye contact with me while I was speaking. Some people might think that your responses of “uh-huh” and “yeah” meant you were distracted and not really paying attention, but not me. I know that your responses were given with the utmost consideration and that I did in fact have your undivided attention. 
    I believe that connecting with and building a strong bond with students is vital in the school environment. I know that you truly believe the same, as was evident by your interaction with the 6th graders as they were walking past in the hallway. I noticed that while I was explaining to you how well your 5th grade students did in class today, you made every effort to interact with your former students. The way you sought out greetings and hugs from the 6th graders really shows that you care. So what if you missed my praise of your class’ participation and discussion in art today? You obviously feel it is important to maintain a bond with your former students. And the way that you grabbed that one student around the shoulders and dragged him into the art room so that you could show him off to your current group of 5th graders and explain to them that this is the student whose work you are always displaying as stellar? Bravo. I know it must have made your current students happy to finally place a face with the name. And you know what? It didn’t bother me one bit that you interrupted me to put on such a display.
     Most teachers always seem to be in a hurry these days. Not you though. I really admired the way you had your class wait a few minutes in the art room while you stood in the hallway so as to not, I assume, exclude any former students, thus saving them hurt feelings. How very thoughtful of you, and I know that your current class really enjoyed those extra few minutes they spent standing in a quiet line in the art room.
     In conclusion, I’m so grateful for the importance that you place on the work that your students do in my room, and the time and attention you expend attentively listening to my reports on such. 

10 thoughts on “Dear 5th Grade Teacher

  1. Anonymous says:

    I LOVE when classroom teachers argue with me about observation I have on a student. You know the kiddo I have known since pre-K and is now in 5 th grade, and the ckassroom teacher has had for a few weeks!? Too bad so many classroom teachers view specialists as only “prep givers”!!


  2. Touché!

    In my experience, I would add, while that whole interaction is happening, that another class would be lined up in the hall WAITING to get into the art room, and THEIR teacher would be long gone, on her way to the coffee pot, while the 5th grade is still in the room, and their teacher is still schmoozing with former students in the hall.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I once had a first grade teacher tell me that she really didn't care what I did in my classroom with her students. I know I was just a bathroom break to her. Of course, this is the same teacher that had at least 4 students removed from her classroom over the course of the time that I was there with her. Because she was mean. Because the 6 year olds cried and didn't want to go to school. I've never had a student not want to come to my classroom. So there.


  4. Anonymous says:

    For the classes that have lunch right after art class I always tuck their graded art into the teacher's box. One day I ran into a teacher and handed her the work instead, she told me she didn't need them, she was just going to throw them away. She didn't have time to pass it out. I wanted to punch her in the boob.


    • Lisa says:

      I had a 4th grade teacher tell me the same! “I can’t pass all this out!” I said, “Put them on the back table and have therm get their own after breakfast, after they finish an assignment, etc.” (That is how I did it for the 23 years I was a regular classroom teacher). “MY kids? Are you kidding? They can’t do that!” Seriously? Even the kindergarten can read their own names by Christmas!! She actually said, “I’d just throw them away if they weren’t so cute.”


  5. Anonymous says:

    I don't know how some people can be like that! I'm a class teacher (but also teach art) and art class gives kids so many useful skills, knowledge, develops their creativity etc etc etc

    Maybe the teacher in the comment above was just jealous because the kids would much rather take their artwork home to keep than their maths tests and whatever else. Art is almost always my class's favourite lesson of the week – maybe those grade teachers are just jealous that the kids love art best…


  6. Anonymous says:

    I wish we had art and music in our schools….Imagine a place as full of music and art like New Orleans….with NO art in our curriculum….Makes me so sad. I do include art and music every day in my classroom, because it's pre kindergarten…and no one here knows what is supposed to happen in pre k….So we use as much paper, paint, glue and whatever we want all day long! and our bookbags and walls are full of art. I have some problems with parents not understanding that craft projects do not equal art…so every now and again we make something according to rules etc. That's called following directions…which we do need to do….But process is what we are mostly about! I can only imagine what might come out of our prekinder classrooms if only we had art teachers.


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