Someone asked me or maybe they told me, I can’t now quite remember how it was phrased…
“Funding makes you lazy”
First off, that made me a bit cross…. Anyone who has completed an ACE application form, successfully or otherwise certainly isn’t lazy. They are damn hard work. Mine took about a month to do, including the research, the meeting people and discussing the contribution of others, then getting other people to read it and suggest improvements. It is not the sort of thing lazy people do.
Secondly, when ACE say yes, and the big wodge of cash arrives in your bank account, you are so overwhelmed with responsibility for it, laziness in accounting for every penny certainly isn’t an option!
Thirdly, and I think most importantly, it has changed the way I look at prospective work offers.
To the outsider, perhaps, me turning down a school workshop is lazy, now I don’t need the money. A glance back at another post tells you I am very conscious of maintaining relationships with the people who offer me work!
No… Saying no is an option now open to me now I have funding. I have a year in which to establish a different stance. It has given me the opportunity to be a woman of principle.
(I am however, fully aware that stating all this here could well come back and bite me in a year’s time when I’ve run out of money)
I am very proud of what I did over the last ten years in schools. But, on reflection, some of it could be seen as short sighted. By only working with the children, they had a great time, so did I, but in the long term, when I left, there were teachers who had not even thought about art for ten years, let alone taught it. So I turn down work now, where it is just me and thirty children… or even fifteen children. Unless the class teacher and the teaching assistant are in there learning with the rest of us, I’m saying no. I’m saying yes to art sessions with teachers and assorted other adults, and yes to teacher or parent or volunteer training. Getting a load of children to get their fingers stuck in clay is fantastic, but unless it becomes a regular occurrence, it hasn’t changed anything much. The negative experience of my job changing beyond recognition made me reconsider my philosophy of education, and art. I have finely tuned my thoughts on the matter. These thoughts might be considered political. Whatever they are, they are mine.
I’m not being lazy and accepting all work offered. I’m doing it the hard way and turning work down.