Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Can't Teachers Follow Directions? Or am I just too sensitive?

Here's what I'm sewing on today...

Right after Christmas Holidays ended, I approached Aidan's 1st-Grade teacher with an idea for an art project for her class. She put me off for a few weeks because it was so hectic right after the holidays...and we got together in late February. I asked her to invite the other first grade teachers to the meeting...cause I was considering doing the project with the entire grade if they wanted to.

Of course, they did. So I have blocks from all of the teachers. I asked them to keep each class separate and I'd deal with them that way we didn't have a big mix up of blocks. The project was a Crayola block...any design of their choice. I offered to create the muslin square (with freezer paper backing), purchase all of the fabrics (front, backing, batting) and sew all of the pot holders. Their job was to come up with a design in black Crayola (not the cheap crayons...); trace that on to the muslin squares (center the image) and have each child color their square. Then, when the squares were ironed (by me) the dye in the wax would go down into the fabric...and it would become a washable product. I brought a sample of a Crayola quilt, and showed them how the process would work. They all agreed they could do that, what a wonderful idea.

Here are my instructions to them:
1) Each drawn image needs to be no larger than 7 it would "float" in the middle of the 8 1/2 inch muslin square without getting into the seam allowances.
2) Crayons should be used so that the finished pot holders could be washed...cause they would get dirty.
3) Make sure each block had the students' name on them and keep each class group separate.

As you can see from the photos...they sent me 93 blocks back...all with a simple hand image done in Tempura paint. Many of the hand prints are larger than seven some fingers are being chopped off in the seam allowance or some names are being truncated in the seam allowance since they are not inside the seven inches either.

All ninety-three blocks are done in Tempura paints...which I am pretty sure is water based and washable paint. So, I have effectively purchased, measured, and cut fabric for the backs, fabric for the fronts, batting, and freezer paper...for a project that when washed...will be just blank squares of muslin with a calico back! 
All, because six teachers decided it was fine NOT to follow instructions...NOT to do what THEY agreed to do...and none of them even had the manners to call me about this change BEFORE doing it. (And I wonder who thought this was okay...I hear my Grandmother's voice (if one jumped off the bridge, would all of you jump off too?!?) Sure, the kids won't care...and probably the parents won't either. The people that should care...if they knew...would be the 2nd Grade Teachers...because I will not be offering to do a project like this for them next year. And, I have lost a great deal of respect for these first grade teachers...whom I'm sure could really care less about that too.

ETA (5/3/2011):  Thanks for all the comments. In the end, I returned the potholders to the teachers and decided just to keep quiet about my disappointments. After all, it's just a simple little art project...not important in the larger scheme of things. Thought ya'll like to know that I did receive a nice thank you note from Aidan's teacher yesterday...and thank you notes from the students in her class as well. 
That was a nice thing for them to do!


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