Saturday, September 22, 2012

I'm a Person, Not a Service

Teaching Art can be a lonely pursuit, and the online community is vibrant and a wonderful resource. One of the main reasons, ArtfulArtsyAmy has continued is because I like to share my experiences in the classroom with other Art teachers. The other reason I blog is because I feel very passionately about giving back and sharing with the Art Education community.

It is important for us to contribute to our community.  Art Education, as a whole, becomes richer when we do so.  I've begun using lessons (and hopefully creating lessons) I might not otherwise due to my online exposure to Art Education blogs. Ultimately, that helps to make me a stronger teacher.

Since the advent of Pinterest, and few other positive reviews of ArtfulArtsyAmy online, I now get a lot of daily email from readers.  On the one hand, I'm incredibly flattered anyone likes anything I do enough to contact me. I've had the opportunity to collaborate with, and and actually meet, quite a few amazing Art teachers because they have emailed me. I wouldn't give up those opportunities for the world.  Yet, more often, I receive rather rude emails from teachers demanding something and/or emails from the technology-challenged who are frustrated about how to download a lesson etc. etc. I've received about five alone in the past week that were just really rude.  So, I thought I'd make a little informational list for when you contact blog owners and/or me.

1. Everything on this blog is free. If you find something of mine online and it has a cost, that is because the website host required it. I also do not actively or knowingly post anything on a website requiring a monetary membership.  If a site requires a monetary membership, it began doing so after I uploaded content.
 
2. I value sources. I work very hard and very diligently to link back to any source I use both in lesson plans, images, and PowerPoints.

3. I don't have a lot of time. I work approximately 55+ hours a week as an Art Teacher. I attend graduate school (working on my doctorate) full time.  I commute 3 hours round trip to my job. I write 36 pages of lesson plans a week (no really, I do). I want to respond to all of your emails. I take time about once a week to sift through blog emails.

4. I don't monitor my online content after posting.  Once it is up, I rarely go back after the first week to check links etc.  ArtfulArtsyAmy has been around for nearly four years, and has over three hundred posts. I am one person. The internet is a living entity that is ever-changing. I do what I can, and then let the rest fall away.

5.  I cannot help you with specific technology issues.  Feel free to send me an email when something is hard to download, a link is broken etc. etc.. If there is something not working, I will fix it from my end. But, I do not have the time to walk you through how to download online content. And, honestly, 99% of the questions I have about this are from people who simply are not tech savvy. I feel for you, and I'm impressed you're working outside your comfort zone. You should get the media specialist and/or a colleague to help walk you through the process. They can see your screen; I can't. But, I'm a sucker for nice people, and I love teaching about technology. . So if you send me a really nice email, I will probably try to help you.

6. I'm a person, not a service.  About half the emails I get each week read like this:  "I want this resource. Send it to me in this format."  I'm reminded of a line in Dirty Dancing when I get these emails: "I don't just have to do anything for you." I'm human. I like manners. I like the words "please" and "thank-you."  I will never, ever, email anything to anyone who can't be polite. When I get emails like this I read them aloud to my partner, and we laugh and the rudeness.

7. I love to collaborate; I love to help. If you have a collaboration idea or a question, don't hesitate to email me. It may take me a week to return your email, but I will.  I really, truly, do like to be helpful.

From the bottom of my heart I love blogging with and for the Art Ed community. This online community has been one of my favorite and best sources as an educator.  I really encourage you to participate by making comments on Art Ed blogs and/or maybe even hosting your own blog. 

6 comments:

  1. I get a lot of e-mails/comments, but am thankful very few have been rude over the past 4 yrs. I think people forget.

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  2. Bravo!!!! Maybe some people don't realize that this isn't your full time job! (Still no excuse for rudeness though..) Personally I'm impressed that you have time to blog at all, with everything else you're juggling! When do you sleep? :)

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  3. I enjoyed reading this post. Particularly the first two paragraphs as I think they perfectly sum up the way I feel too. Like Ted, the emails I receive are rarely rude - but I do find it disappointing that once I go out of my way to pass on lessons or ideas, people very rarely reply to thank me or to let me know the results. Keep up the good work, Amy!

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  4. Eloquent, to the point, enough said.

    :)Pat

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  5. My goodness Amy, I'm sorry people are acting that way! Good for you for saying something. I'm so sorry if my question about the rastsized posters a few weeks back contributed to your frustration in any way!

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  6. TY you for your support. Mrs. Art Teacher! No way your email bothered me at all!!! And, I'm sorry if I haven't responded yet. I do believe the rasterbator site might be down. . :( frowns.

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