The equity piece that I became more aware of and focused on improving since mid-semester was making sure that art is accessible to everyone. (Inspired by Letters to the Next President 2.0) I blogged about art equity on March 14 as we “unpacked interest”, writing a letter to the school board.
The timing of this assignment coincided with my students selecting courses for the 2017-18 school year. Before students make their schedules, teachers are responsible for recommending courses. I spend an entire class period going over the art electives that will be offered the next year which leads to the following comments; I want to take another art class, but I won’t have room in my schedule next year. Or, I am taking X amount of AP’s next year, so I need a free period to study.
I cannot change graduation requirements, I cannot change the importance many place on AP’s, all I can do is change how I respond by making sure that the work that I do with my students is visible in the halls of the school and beyond through connections with the community. And that’s when I began to put equity into action- Art is for everyone! The Keith Haring Project, Britto project, Earth Day wind-bells, etc.
The 10 self/world connection activity made me think about my teaching practices when it comes to CHOICE! Choice has been something that I struggle with, so after I vlogged about it, I sought information and other points of view about a new trend in Art education called TAB- Teaching for Artistic Behaviors. I follow a group of Art educators called, The Art of Education through social media (twitter and Facebook) I am an active participant in this group. Since ED677, thinking about equity and connected learning, I have decided to give TAB a try next year. I just spoke with my colleague about my plans to teach our intro class called, Art Studio 1, through centers. This is going to require a complete restructure of my classroom (I spoke with the custodian yesterday to request peg boards and shelving, no turning back now) and a lot of prep work for me this summer as I plan to create QR codes in each center with links to resources. I am finally ready to try this because I realize that students need more choice to make connections to things that they are passionate about. And this choice may actually help bring up enrollment numbers. I will also have my first student teacher next year, she will be instrumental to the success of TAB, I’m sure it will be important to have another teacher in the room to manage and maintain the classroom space. I also plan to teach her all I have learned this year about equity and connected learning; she is excited to begin her career, a perfect candidate to mentor through connected learning principles.
I wish that I had written direct feedback to my peers’ blog entries directly to them in the comment section. (I really appreciated it when I received feedback here.) Often after reading peer entries, I was inspired by what I read to do something new. I responded to many of them in my blog, but I am not sure if it was read by them, or if what I wrote came across the way I hoped. I found reading everyone’s blogs to be reaffirming, reading them confirms what I know to be true; teachers are amazingly dedicated and willing to do whatever it takes to help their students be successful. The passion everyone has for their content area was also evident. I wish that I did not miss the last two Bluejeans meets because, although it’s an awkward thing to see yourself on screen, it was through these meets that I felt most connected to my classmates.
When I decided to re-enroll at Arcadia this spring, I did so to complete my masters to make a lane change. Knowing that we’d like to buy a new house, I need to earn my full salary potential, two classes is all that has stood between me and a raise (for 14 years!). I thought I’d be taking an art class of some kind, but the one that I signed up for did not run due to low enrollment (ironic how that even happens at the college level). Like so many other times in my life, the path I thought I would take, took a turn for the better. This course was exactly what I needed, it refreshed my take on what’s happening in my district and enlightened me with ways that I can adapt to weather this storm of program cuts. I am going to keep connecting art to EVERYTHING! I am going to constantly check my practices to make sure that I am doing what’s best for my students. #ArtMatters
Thanks for a great class, I’m glad that we’ve connected on Twitter, there you will find me continuing this work. Peace out on this blogging stuff though