Saturday, September 28, 2013

New path in administration

So as many know, I have started this year with a new position in a new school. I have accepted a new role as an Assistant Principal in my same district. However, the school is new and very different in comparison to my previous placements. My school is a Pre-K through 3rd grade building with a population of a little over 1,000 students!! I still can't believe some days that that many students are in my building. Yikes! But with that many students comes many teachers and other staff members that I am responsible for as well. I will say that I am thankful for the wonderful office staff that has been more than welcoming and helpful as I learn my role and responsibilities every day because truly every day is a new one with different tasks and scenarios to encounter.

People have asked me do I miss the classroom....and my answer is two-fold, both yes and no. I think I will always miss my "own" classroom, however now I have the opportunity to be apart of every classroom! Myself and the rest of our administrative team in my building make it a priority to be able to visit all the classrooms and contribute to the success of our students and staff. So no, I am not in the classroom in the same capacity as I once was, however it is wonderful to be able to experience many different types of classrooms and grade levels throughout my days.

The best thing about my new position is that it is fast-paced, which I love to be a busy body, and I feel that I am becoming a more well-rounded educator and leader. I'm becoming a better listener, mentor, observer, facilitator, etc. I've taken on many new roles and there will be more to come. Most of all, I've been challenged to think differently and not make rash decisions. Everything needs to be carefully planned so that we operate as a well-oiled machine.

There are difficult tasks and scenarios as well, as no one enjoys disciplining, encountering upset students or parents, and more. But as a teacher I faced the difficult moments too. I just keep in mind to not take anything personal, keep my composure, and keep the best interest of our students in mind.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Reflecting on the past 4 years

This month marks 4 years since graduating Eastern Illinois University. On my drive home this week I really reflected on all the accomplishments and events that have occurred over the past 4 years.
Right after receiving my Bachelors in Art with a teaching certificate, I worked as an aide in Special Education for a year. I decided that I would go back to school because the job search wasn't going great and I would go back to get a special education endorsement (LBS1). Luckily upon starting my classes for the LBS1 I received a job offer from Cicero District 99, where I have now been for almost 3 years.

The past three years have been a whirlwind but rewarding. During the past three years, I have been fortunate to always have a full-time art position, however, the first two years I taught at 3 schools, all being art-on- a cart and one day a week in a classroom. This current year, I was able to be working in only 2 schools, with one being in a classroom for 3 days a week. Wow, my own classroom was quite a feat to figure out how to set it up and where to begin. Well now I'm starting to pack up that classroom due to new construction at the building but also for a more exciting reason as well....I'll mention soon :)

Over the last 3 years, I have really grown as an individual. I've become more involved in NAEA as I have now served on the NAEA Student Chapter team for almost 5 years! It will be 5 years next March when I will conclude my term on the SC Presidential Team. During that time, I've spoken in front crowds of up to 300 people, which was always a feat for me! I couldn't stand public speaking in high school, where did this person come from? I've really found my voice and passion.

Recently, history was made at the 2013 NAEA Convention in Fort Worth, TX.  Through the voice of the large population of student members in NAEA and the work of the NAEA Student Chapter Presidential Team, it was determined that there was a need for these members to have an active voice in the NAEA organization. As of June 2012, 2,633 members have identified themselves as students within NAEA. 

I am partly writing this blog post and section because my dear friend, Amanda Batson, inspired me with her blog post for the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) See Amanda's article here

Along with Amanda, I have spent the last four years and soon to be five, serving the NAEA student population to ensure that their voice is heard and to be an advocate for the young members of NAEA.

As Amanda shared..."At the beginning of the 2013 NAEA Convention, Past-President Dr. Bob Sabol addressed the Delegates Assembly to propose a change to the current governance structure.  That change was voted on unanimously and can be seen in the following video. Some new and exciting things are in the works, and Bob can express it better than I can. I am still speechless!"  Thank you Amanda for your time on the NAEA SC. I can't express this better myself and thanks for sharing the video. 
NAEA from amanda Batson on Vimeo.

So ultimately, I am reflecting on the last 4 years and why it's so significant. Next weekend I will graduate from Concordia University of Chicago with my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. Wow! I never thought I would have gone back to school so soon, but the law is changing and I felt the need to be empowered and move forward. 
I've really come full circle since 2009 and having just received my Bachelors degree back then. 
It seems so long ago as so much has happened since then.
Established a teaching career
Embarked upon many local , state, and national leadership positions
Found my voice and confidence as a leader
Bought a house
Got married to my EIU sweetie <3
Nominated for awards
and a new job.... :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How exciting!

How exciting! As I was traveling through other fellow art blog sites, I found my own bulletin board picture featured on a recent post!! My bulletin board

Sunday, September 25, 2011

1st Grade - Geometric Shape Houses

Yay! My first post about a project. 1st Grade students are working on design artwork that incorporates lines and shapes.

Teacher example of Completed Project

Teacher example of shapes with texture
We discussed and created a list of geometric shapes. We talked about what a circle, square, and triangle become when you stretch them out. Each student filled 2 pages with a variety of sizes and types of shapes (circle, triangle, square, rectangle, oval) by using black crayon for the outline. Upon completion of drawing, we introduced using texture rubbing plates and students and colored their shapes with the plates with a variety of colors.
I introduced cutting by practicing and talking about cutting etiquette.

Students then had a chance to "play" and we talked about that your house should look like it's not going to fall over.

The following examples are from my 1st/2nd grade CC (Special Ed) class. We did more guided instruction by talking about the size of the shapes to pick before gluing down,etc.

Catching Up: Bulletin Boards

So with Open House a few weeks ago I was struggling to come up with ideas to fill my multiple bulletin boards. My classes were not near the end of the project and although I like putting up in progress work, my students are not fully respecting things that are hung up, so I am not ready to put up progress work yet.
1. Main Art Bulletin Board: I will continue to put up each grade's project goal with objectives

2. I found this next idea off of another teacher's blog and ran with it.
The quote reads: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.
Pablo Picasso " 

3. The next bulletin board I also was inspired from another teacher blog. I was pleasantly surprised by one student. I gave 3rd grade students a slip of paper that read ART IS....
I asked them to finish the sentence and then draw around it. 

In my 3rd Grade CC(Special ED) room I had them do the same activity but told them to just worry about drawing a picture.  At the end  I was walking around looking at the pictures and asked a student what she drew. She said "It's YOU". She had drawn a picture of me and my art cart, because to her Art is me coming to their classroom. I wanted to cry because someone had finally grasped it! I felt like I had accomplished ART with these students. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Surviving the First Week with New Ideas

Well I'm free and clear from my 5 days of introductory lessons. As I begin to be emerged into my 2nd year of teaching, I'm starting to enforce my new classroom management plan. This year I will be using "Art Lights".
 Here's a picture of my "Art Lights" displayed in my classroom (that I have once a week). I decided to try a new management approach that is similar to what classroom teachers have implemented for a long time, but took it for an art twist. My "Art Lights" consist of 4 steps that apply to the whole classroom rather than on an individual basis.
"Blue"= Excellent
"Green" = Good
"Yellow" = Warning, Lose 2 minutes of talking
"Red"= Quiet Art Time
When a class has a blue or green day, they earn a crayon. When the class earns 8 crayons, they will have an art party. Basically, some class time to take a break from the project and have some free choice time.
So I'll keep updates about how the management system is working for this year.
Other new things for the year:
- Art Sketchbooks- Each class will keep them and work in them the first 5 minutes of class as a warm-up.
-Bulletin Boards- This year I will have about 5 bulletin boards designated to Art.
-Art job board
Here's my main bulletin board, which I use to post what projects I'm doing or news about Art. This is in my "home school" for a K-3 building.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Teaching at Multiple Schools

This is my 2nd year as a full-time elementary Art teacher in a K-8 school district in the Chicago suburbs.
Last year, I worked between 3 schools with 2 out 3 schools being art-on-a-cart and one classroom for one day per week. I taught students from 1st grade to 6th grade, most being seen once a week. I focused on developing my classroom management, developing lessons based upon our district curriculum, and creating connections in my schools.

This year I will continue to work at 3 schools, with 2 of them being from last year's schedule, and one new one. I believe that I will continue to have a classroom for 1 day a week, be on a cart for 3 days, and one day I will be able to utilize the gym for art.

I am excited to be starting this year as I am revamping my classroom management, policies/procedures, organization, and goals for the year.