Let me start with a disclaimer. The pet peeves that will be mentioned in this post are mine, only mine. It's absolutely OK if you feel totally differently than me about the things that get me irked. We come from wildly different backgrounds and live and teach in very different locations and settings. So I don't expect you to agree with everything on this post.
I'm sure your own "pet peeve" list will be different than mine, and that's good. It won't make me like your blog any less, or make me stop reading your blog if you don't agree with me, and your opposing opinions won't hurt my feelings in the slightest. Actually I rather enjoy some good hearty dissent, which is good because I admit to being rather opinionated. So here goes:
MY PET PEEVES:
- Blogs with automatically playing music, with no easy-to-find "off" button - I may like the music (or not) but the fact is, I'm often blogging at the same time as my hubby and I are watching TV (or listening to an interesting show on public radio) and I see that annoyed look on his face when suddenly music is blaring from my laptop during a favorite show. So I often close the post rather than finish reading, and I may not leave a comment even if I really wanted to, unless I can get back to it during a commercial or when the TV is not on.
- Art education blogs where the photos show only teacher samples of lessons, and we never get to see the work that the kids create using these lessons.
- Art teachers who are afraid to use some types of materials because they are "too messy" - an art teacher should NEVER be afraid of a mess! (except maybe on school picture day).
- "Cookie cutter" art projects, where everyone's work comes out exactly the same, and there is not really any opportunity for creative expression within the parameters of the assignment, lesson, or project.
- Classroom teachers who bring their kids to art 2 minutes early - I don't know about you, but those 2 minutes are precious to me, when it comes to re-supplying tables, and getting out the class's work. It makes me look unprepared.
- Classroom teachers who show up 2 minutes late to pick their kids up from art - again it makes setting up for the next class difficult, and it also means I have the kids lined up at the door trying to be quiet for longer than necessary.
- Lefty scissors - I am a lefty (are you?) and struggled as a kid learning to cut. My mom made me practice on paper dolls, and I loved designing their clothes, so it was fun practice. But I always have cut right-handed. I do not think lefty scissors cut as efficiently, mostly because we do not hold a scissors or cut the same way with our left hand. A lefty child will be more successful learning to cut right-handed. Besides, so much of our world is right-handed, from the shift on my car, to the mouse on most computers, to crazy things like rulers, and soup ladles, and my hand mixer, and my iron. It doesn't pay off not to be able to use them effectively.
- New educational "initiatives" without adequate follow-up - As a 35 year veteran teacher, I can't even begin to tell you how many of these I've seen, from local initiatives, to statewide and national ones. I'm not saying that some aren't worthwhile (they definitely are), but nothing is effective without adequate time, training, and follow through, and it always seems we get going gangbusters and then fall short.
- Professional development programs that don't have a component that addresses the arts or creativity at all - I've been through many such programs or models or initiatives and I feel we are often left out or ignored.
- Posters, signs, handouts, and other printed information with spelling and/or grammatical errors or typos - especially when it comes from a teacher or administrator and is going home to parents. When you are sending info home, take the time to spell-check and proofread, especially if you KNOW this is not your strength. **Notice I DIDN'T include blogs in my list of posters, signs, and handouts, because, while I try to proofread mine, I realize how spontaneous blogging can be and how easy it is for there to be errors, especially when dealing with the quirks of Blogger.