Exploring Spaces and Places
The schedule for work time this week also included working on their main spaces and places project, too. Some students decided to focus most of their energies on this, while others did not and used their time on the perspective drawing. Allowing students the option to choose how they use their time, while holding them accountable for their work and choices along the way is something I am always balancing in my classroom. Sometimes I am more specific in which way I would like them to work, but I find it tends to be more successful when I give them the option to decide.
End of First Marking Period
- BCWMS ArtPrize 9 entry - featured on WoodTV8 (venue on Jury Shortlist)
- 883 artworks published on Artsonia
- 10 works uploaded to compete in Scholastic Art Awards
- Dozens of artists researched and shared through Scholastic Art Magazine
Passion and Purpose
I spend the first day of the conference sharing with other teachers in two sessions. One was with an art teacher from Pentwater Public Schools, Carrie Jeruzal. She actually is the reason I present at conferences in the first place. In 2008, she urged me to join a presentation with her on Literacy in the Art classroom. I have been hooked ever since. This year we presented on how we use the Empty Bowls project in our classrooms and use Art as and opportunity for Service Learning.
Some highlights of the conference include:
- Scholastic Art Awards Plagiarism and Copyright workshop. This workshop lead by Amy Armand was an amazing tool for helping me better recognize when students are taking that next step to make transformational work rather than copying what already exists. It was eye-opening and useful as we get ready for submitting pieces to competition this year and in future years.
- Keynote presentation by Jeff DeBoer and Ralph Gilles about creativity and the importance of art education for industrial design. This talk was incredibly impactful. Sometimes we get stuck in thinking about our classrooms and the curriculum we teach and forget the larger implications and how we can better connect to careers. This session flipped a switch for me to reconsider how I approach my subject matter and how I can make additional connections with my students. I was really blown away with the potential of the Michigan Design Prize Jeff shared through the Michigan Design Council as well as the stats Ralph, who works as a design manager for Fiat/Chrysler, shared in terms of the need for designers in the field of automotive design. For example, did you know that 4300 designers live in Detroit and earn $10,000 annually more than their counterparts who live in other areas? I also learned that one of the careers they are having a hard time filling with qualified staff is clay modelers. I know of some students who love cars and clay that will be quite interested when I share this with them as a potential career option.
- Creative Problem Solving is a class in some schools. MAEA Teacher of the Year, Tricia Erickson, and her teaching partner, Tanya Lockwood shared their curriculum with us in a presentation that included both her principal and superintendent from Northview Public Schools as co-presenters. It was awesome to hear from a team of teachers and administrators about how creativity and employability go hand in hand and how they use this class to help build the soft skills needed by those in various industries.
- Detroit is amazing. I have lived in Michigan my entire life and have been to Detroit over a dozen times without ever really being to Detroit. I know know it was not until I stayed with a true resident of Detroit that I feel like I can now say I have been there. I want to thank my friend, Deb, for sharing her home and amazing wealth of knowledge as she toured us around the city. I had a great time seeing new areas of the city and the growth and the history she shared with us as she gave us a tour of this great American city. One of my favorite new places is now Signal Return. It is a print shop near the Eastern Market and offers opportunities to learn about printmaking as well as a chance to buy original artwork made in their shop. I love printmaking and purchased some items for myself as well as some lucky students when I return to school on Monday (I have a contest every time I go to a conference and the winners get goodies I bring back from the places I travel to). One of my favorite parts of the shop was the tour we were offered as well as a suggestion I check out another shop located on my side of the state. Connecting with new places and spaces to experience art and ways to connect craft to careers for my students is what professional development is all about for me.