I am thankful for...
11. All of our supporters on Artsonia. So far this year students have published over 1600 pieces of work, have 165 fan club members, and 637 artist statements about their work. We have also had students nominated for artist of the week (twice) and have raised some additional funds from families and friends purchasing items with student art on it.
10. The grants awarded to our classroom to purchase additional supplies. So far this year, we have been able to purchase over $1300 of additional materials due to the support of organizations like MAEA, DonorsChoose, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as our newest award received from The Kids In Need Foundation and Office Depot. Thank you to all companies and organizations who have helped bring enriched experiences to my students through their generosity.
9. The Byron Center Fine Arts Boosters who continue to support our students in competitions and special classroom projects. With their help, students have been able to see guest artists, go on field trips to important art places, and participate in competitions to shine in recognition. They are a great organization who has done so much for the arts at BCPS.
8. Guest Artists who have taken the time to share their craft with my students, inspiring them with their talent and knowledge. It was so much fun to have local artists like Teri Genovese and Paul Flickinger visit my students this past year and to hear students apply those lessons learned to their own work.
7. Other teachers at BCWMS and beyond. I am very lucky to work with a group of teachers I respect and admire. I am also very fortunate to work with administrators who value and understand the importance of the arts in education. In addition to these local assets, I have also found a great group of fellow art teachers online through professional learning communities. Through our daily interaction, I am able to use their experiences and apply them to my own classroom. This capacity has made me rethink my teaching and focus on student learning in a new and exciting way.
6. Moodle. This online service has completely changed the way I collect work and interact with students. Instead of hoping students are listening as I lecture about a topic, I post various lessons online. This allows students to work at their own pace, even pause or rewind to learn new information about art. Instead of giving me papers, students are learning how to photograph their work, upload it, and reflect on it through typed statements. This has allowed me to spend more time with each student individually and has allowed students to work at their own pace.
5. Contemporary Artists who constantly challenge me to question art and what makes "good" art.
4. Found objects that have inspired students to think "beyond the pencil" as encouraged by my fellow art teacher Ian Sands. From Leigha's use of yarn that she picked up for $3 at a garage sale last summer not knowing what she was going to do with, to Tena who saw some sequins and thought why not - to Tucker and Andrew who both decided cut paper was the way to go, I have NEVER had students choose such interesting and diverse materials to work with than those I have had this year.
3. My students who always amaze me with what they are capable of creating. Whenever I think I know best, I can be proven wrong with the spark of something new from a student. This is why I often respond to students who want a suggestion for their work with, "You are the artist, you have to make the choice." I am usually greeted with a stinky cheese face, but in the end they know and I know that ultimately they are the ones who have to be satisfied with what they make, not me.
2. My cats - if you watch the video, you can see why - they are AWESOME!
1. My family, especially my husband. He always tells me like it is and encourages me when I need it. He knows me better than anyone else and I appreciate all he does for me on a daily basis.