Sunday, April 30, 2017

Supporting Our Newest Art Educators - Monday, May 1, 2017

This past Friday I had the honor of announcing and celebrating Michigan State University's newest interns to have completed their Art Education certification. I loved working with those five ladies this past year sharing our mutual passion for teaching art as well as experiences from my twelve years doing so. It got me thinking back to my beginning years as an art educator and what a lonely road that can be. And how we can all help all of our newest art educators across the state start to feel like a valued part of our community online as well as by reaching out to those that teach nearer to us. All too often you are the only art teacher in your building. If it is a small district you might be the only art teacher at all. It can be difficult when you are first starting to out to feel comfortable seeking out those with prior experience when you need help. Sometimes you are so in it that first year or so that you have a difficult time recognizing that help is needed. It is up to those of us who've been their to help guide and support these newly certified art educators so that they can then one day turn around and do the same for future art educators.

Whether you are finishing your first year of teaching art or your thirty-fifth, everyone who has already stepped into their own classroom and begun developing or growing their art program has something worthwhile to offer those that are just starting their art education journey. I challenge you all to seek out someone new to our profession and provide whatever support you can. That may be resources you have collected over the years. Or lending an ear as they recount adventures they are encountering in the field throughout the upcoming year and beyond. It might be as simple as reassuring them that you were in their shoes once too and that with time, a good sense of humor, perhaps a glass of wine, and even shedding some tears they'll make it through not only that first year but many more to come as they continue to develop their sense of teacher self.

MSU's 2017 newly certified Art teachers

I'm truly honored to have worked directly with such talented art education students at MSU. I can't wait to see what they, and their cohorts from other colleges and universities around the state have to offer our amazing world of art education.

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