Art Teacher Tales
My favorite lessons, tricks and professional developments.
Have you ever had a professional development feel like a vacation? How about a PD that gives you the time and space to develop yourself as an artist? Yeah.... me neither, until I came to Moore College for their Teacher Summer Institute.
The Teacher summer was a really amazing experience for so many reason. I am going to tell you everything I loved about the program and some tips I learned my first year here. I say "first" because I definitely plan to come back! I was initially attracted to the program for two reasons. First off, it was an opportunity to spend one week to do nothing else but work on my own art. When does that ever happen? Like many other art teachers I squeeze in art making time where I can but it is so hard when I spend so much time and energy focused on my students. It was an absolute joy to have the space and time to make art for myself. Second, I earned three graduate credits for my time here and I can keep earning graduate credits each time I come. These were the cheapest and most enjoyable three credits I have ever earned.
The best thing about this program is that you literally have nothing better to do then to make art all week. The food is included (and delicious, like really, really delicious), I stayed in the dorms and I had hours upon hours of scheduled art making time. On the first day we meet up in the studios with other participants and our studio guide. Jerry was great at giving advice when people wanted it and great at leaving us alone when we didn't. During lunch they had their professors come in to speak about their area of expertise. Then before dinner we all meet up to talk about our experiences in the studio, Philadelphia and teaching art in general. This time was facilitated by a retired art teacher and was beneficial because it gave you some time to reflect on the day. After dinner we had the option to be done for the night, go back to the studio or go to a separate where they provided a model for figure drawing. If you go to this program, take advantage of this opportunity! I have not had the experience to work with a model since I graduated with my bachelors. It was a great exercise for me but it also helped me get into that student mindset that fades as you become a teacher.
My week at Moore was rejuvenating, inspiring, and much needed after a year of focusing on 700+ kinders! The program is amazing but the best part about it was the other art teachers there. The whole group was broken into two studios so when I was stuck of struggling I could turn to anyone of them for help. They had amazing suggestions and were always willing to lead a supply or two when needed. My roommate and studio buddy spent the week quilting. As I worked on investigating melted crayon I noticed I was gravitating toward geometric patterns. I was certainly inspired by her and it really elevated my work. Bottom line... if you want a great, week long, art centered professional development then sign up for Moore College of Art and Designs Teacher Summer Institute!