This year has been full of changes in our district. One of the biggest for me is that our building is now K-5th grade rather than K-2nd. I am really excited about seeing the additional grades and watching students develop their skills each year. So, this change is great!
On a disappointing note, this year we as art teachers have found ourselves without any specific professional development. This is truly sad but rather than complain, I have devised a number of ARt Teacher gatherings to solve this very problem. I began cultivating this idea over the summer by inviting interested art teachers from my district for an Artsy Luncheon where we painted, chatted and ate.........I believe those who came were very pleased and happy to be part of a group of art educators that are taking time to get to know one another not only as teachers or co workers but as people and artists. It is my feeling that you really have to build relationships before any sharing can be done.
The next gathering I organized was a dinner out shortly after the year began. Again, well received and fun. We are all learning about one another in a different way and possibly being more receptive to sharing ideas. I think that people sometimes feel competitive or feel that they have to pump themselves up to validate what they do and this gets in the way of any REAL sharing. My objective is to make everyone see we are all valuable.
SO.....this week is our first Art Crawl! Professional Development we have created! I have 7 art teachers participating and we will visit each others art room for only 10 minutes where the hostess will share ONE management strategy OR ONE awesome lesson....I've kept it to the 10 minute thing since I don't want anyone to be short changed or someone to feel extra focused upon.....We must all feel equal. I've been teaching long enough to see that if a focus becomes to shine on one person, then this is very deflating to others.....they would not ever say this but I know its true. Body language says a lot :)
Stay tuned and I will share images and PDF's of our Art Crawl. Please consider arranging something like this in your district too.