I was in Texas at the National Art Education Association Convention!
That's a great big event where about 5000 art teachers attend workshops and presentations to help them continuously improve themselves and their teaching. Teachers and leaders in the Art Education field share ideas, lessons, art materials, and most importantly - their creative passion to teach the love of Art to all their students. I attended many sessions where I learned some new things, was reminded of things I've forgotten, and was generally inspired.
One of the best parts of going to this National Conference was the chance to meet in person people who help me be a better teacher every day. These people are members of my PLN. A PLN is a Professional Learning Network. We call our PLN the #Arted PLN. The hashtag (#) is a symbol that is placed before a word on Twitter that allows people to find others talking about that word. Twitter is the main place my PLN communicates with each other, but not the only place. We also connect on Facebook, Google +, and websites like ArtEd.2.0.ning.com. In all these places we help each other with lesson ideas, questions, teaching strategies, and technology. We collaborate on projects. We share cool things we come across, and best of all brag about what awesome things are students are doing. The power of a PLN is great. Together we make a Super impact on our students. The goofy picture above is part of my #Arted PLN posing like our Lego selves. You see...along with being art teachers...we are creative artists who like to have fun with Art. One teacher in our group spent part of her snow day making us out of Legos. So when we all got together we had a chance to recreate that in real life. Silly huh? The shirts we are wearing are another way we showed our silly creative sides. We believe that all teachers are Super Heros - so we have Super shirts with our Twitter names on them.
If I've looked a bit tired this week, it's because I was very busy at this conference. Every day from 8 in the morning until 6 at night there were workshops and presentations to go to. I was rushing from one to another so I wouldn't miss out on any great ideas. I enjoyed almost all of the sessions I went to. A couple made me want to take a little nap. After those I would try and take in some of the warm Texas weather to wake myself up a bit so I could head to the next session. I'm a life-long learner and am always looking for new ideas and better ways of teaching my students or making my own artwork better. I will share a bit about some of the things I learned in another post.
The Coolest part was getting to present a session with another teacher on using iPads in the Art Room. I loved sharing the some of the creative ways we have used our iPads.
Here's a sneak peek at the presentation Mrs. Fuglestad and I did on Saturday. I will blog more about what I shared in this presentation in another post.
Another Awesome thing about this Conference is the Vendor Exhibit Hall. This is a huge room with all kinds of Art supplies, videos, books, lesson ideas, and artwork being displayed for everyone to see. The companies that we get our supplies from are there to show us new and old things, to let us see things up close, to talk about their products, to let us try the art materials out, and best of all - To Give Us Samples!!! The picture on the right shows all the goodies I came home with. Not all free, but most! There is a couple things in there that I purchased to try out or to support a good cause.
Washington has been my "Home" school for many years now. I enjoy teaching all the different students who make up this diverse school. I have taught a multitude of lessons in this building and have learned just as much from all of the students.
Click below to visit Washington's Online Art Gallery!