A Comprehensive Program
SA Donna, you teach in one of the largest public school districts in the country. What kind of budget do you have for your program?
DG My budget is very good. I am among the fortunate to be working in a school district that realizes that in order to have a quality art program, they need to provide adequate funding. The district also set a school policy to charge each student up to $15 for a materials fee each semester.
SA How do you match your goals with your budget and time limitations?
DG When I started teaching, I was seeing a thousand students and had a thousand dollars. We did a lot of paper and paste projects. The budget here is ample. Out of the student fee, I get each one a sketchbook in addition to the consumable supplies we need for the class. The county budget takes care of textbooks, visuals, videos, and equipment.
My theory is that two weeks is enough time for a project. If a project needs more time than that, I need to simplify the next project so that I can fit everything in.
SA Tell us more about what it's like to teach middle school students.
DG Middle school youth are at a very important stage of their lives when they see things and try things that affect the rest of their lives. The art teacher has to be a positive role model and has to help them find their talents by giving them the opportunity to do, think, and feel good about what they are learning. …