Pres, on 15 September 2012 - 09:47 AM, said:
Benzine, on 14 September 2012 - 10:29 PM, said:
Pres, on 12 September 2012 - 06:44 PM, said:
Benzine, on 11 September 2012 - 07:30 PM, said:
That is indeed a lot of sections, with a lot of students each.
The largest ceramics class I taught was twenty seven, which is still a lot. Luckily, I had a good group of students. They were hard working, and respectful. I've had far smaller classes, where the opposite was true, and those are the classes I dreaded.
I have caps on all my classes, yet the Guidance Office, seems to forget they exist. I only have twenty seven seats in my room, so no class is allowed to exceed that.
Right now my ceramic class is twenty two, which keeps me busy, but is manageable. The biggest changed I've made over the years, due to larger classes sizes, is to reduce the size requirements of my projects. That way I can fit more projects in the kiln, and so they are using less clay and glaze/ underglaze.
Thus far, the administration has been very accommodating, in regards to materials, so I won't complain if I have over twenty students. These days, with budget cuts everywhere, I want to keep the program looking as strong as possible.
In my worse times I had 29 to the class. Eventually we got the admin to cut the cap to 25. In the later years due to lower enrollments in the school we had classes of about 18-21. I had no problems buying materials after I went to making glazes. Clay was usually not a problem, and we used an old Walker pugmill to recycle. I taught adult classes in the winter and donated my time. This allowed me to take all of the adult tuition to add equipment, and upgrade existing equipment. It was nice to have a few extra dollars to play with every year. Heck they even allowed me to have an account that would roll over, and not dump out at the end of the year. Really helpful, as I could save up for bigger ticket items.
By making glaze, do you mean buying the dry mix, or actually buying the base components and creating your own? I just buy Amaco glazes. They have a great selection, and it saves me quite a bit of time.
I wish I had a pug mill, but honestly I don't really have anywhere to put it now. The two previous schools I worked at had one. The first had a smaller one, that was slow as all get out. The second school had an older one, with a huge hopper. I loved that thing. Now, I just have the kids rework the clay themselves. Many of the students need to do a little honest work once in a while any way. Regardless of the method, recycling clay does save quite a bit of money.
You had an account that rolled over? I've never seen that pulled off anywhere. The closet that I have to that is an Art Club account. That is just for extra items, the normal budget can't take care of, like digital cameras and such. Like I said though, my administrators have been quite accommodating, so I won't complain.
I used Amaco glazes for years, then ART, and Minnesota Clay. In the end, they were bogging down the budget to have the variety of colors the kids were interested in. I had switched to powdered glazes, and then to 25# lots to cut budget, but still needed more squeeze. So I started doing some on my own, adding to as the bulk dry glazes ran out. The color and textures are different than what was there before, but students were just as satisfied. Firing at ^6 gave me a lot of latitude with color and texture and very durable ware.
Most club accounts will not roll over, most central admin accounts do not roll over. Because this was an adult class, it was a central admin type of account. In the early years I only put my funds from the adult class in there, then I asked if I could deposit the lab fees that we charged for the Ceramics classes at the HS. Allowed. This really helped out a lot as before it was a spend or lose philosophy-whether you need to or not. We had been charging lab fees for years as the admin would see these pots leaving and couldn't understand how we couldn't be charging anything for them. Lab fee at my last year was 5.00 for Ceramics.
I'm a fan of the Amaco glazes, because of the great color variety. They can indeed be a little pricey though. I do have a decent underglaze selection as well, and they too are pricey. If anything, I'd cut some of those.
My Art Club account is replenished by fundraisers the club does. So it does roll over.
I wish I could charge a lab fee, especially with my photo class, but many districts have put a stop to that. One of the previous art teachers in the district had the students buy their own tool sets. Not bad in theory, but as many had no use for them afterwards, I have boxes full of wood ribs, wood tools, loop tools, etc. Normally I don't mind having extras, but it's more than I'll ever need. I just have numbered sets for my students. Each student has a small box with the basic set of tools that they'll need. They are responsible for that set throughout the class. If a tool is broken, because of misuse, or lost, they have to cover the cost to replace it. With this system, I have had very few lost or damaged tools.
If the administration starts restricting my budget, maybe I'll start charging a lab fee.....If I can legally do so.