The start of a school year always feels like New Year's Eve to me. It's exciting to have a fresh start to try out new ideas and build on past successes. I'm especially excited for this year, because, after 4 years of teaching in pretty challenging conditions and having to share storage with multiple other teachers, I have my own brand new space. I'm looking so forward to not having constant challenges to deal with from the physical structure of my teaching space but what I have big plans for is building the intangible - community, culture and the capability of my students.
3 Exciting Ideas I'm Working On
1. Developing participatory art opportunities for my school community.
Why can't an art show be more like a concert or sporting event? I want to expand on the successful Pop Up Art show my Art 3 kids put together last year. I'm also inspired by the Art-o-Mat I got to check out at my local and amazing North Carolina Museum of Art, as well as their upcoming Monster Drawing Rally. What would a drawing rally during the intermission of a play or half time of a game look and feel like? I don't know, but I'm excited about figuring out, with my students, ways to make art fun, inclusive and participatory for everyone in our school.
2. Building TAB community.
I'm totally jealous of the Michigan TAB teachers. They have TABstock every summer and have built a community where they can collaborate, support each other and share ideas. In person. I want that for my school district and state, so I sent out an email about forming a PLC (Professional Learning Community) to the art teachers in my district. I wondered if anyone would respond, but 12 did!! I'm really looking forward to meeting with teachers from all levels once a month this school year and I hope it's the start of something really powerful.
3. Tackling Tough Subjects
A huge part of the value of the art is it's power to address complicated themes and challenge subjects. I want to take on the subject of stereotypes as part of a unit this year. It's something I've been interested in addressing but wasn't quite sure how until I saw this perfect resource posted. I want to create a space this year where my students can examine challenging issues and express diverse opinions visually.
I'm an high school art teacher who's really interested in student choice and creating opportunities for self expression. I'm also a writer for The Art of Education and co-author of The Open Art Room.