Being a good arts integration teacher is more than just having great lesson plans. It’s about your attitude and your classroom’s ambiance. Even if you have been using arts integration in your teaching, you sometimes need to remind yourself of these important aspects of the practice. I might consider these 5 points to be the backbone of a good arts integration teacher.
1. Define ArtsInt – Learn and understand what arts integration truly is. Keep to the integrity of the art form. Be careful not to only use the arts as an add on or afterthought. Two great posts that you should refer to here are True Arts Integration and ArtsEd verses ArtsInt.
2. Advocacy – Bone up on some real-life examples of success. Sometimes that will come from studies you can read, but the real effective advocacy comes from classroom stories and students’ own words. Check out my Arts Integration LiveBinder for a tab on Advocacy and Stories.
3. Share Yourself – Share your appreciation of the arts with your students. They will enjoy learning more about you and will catch your genuine enthusiasm. This kind of sharing also helps to create a safe learning environment for your students. If you are open with them about what you love, they will feel safe sharing more with you.
4. Do What You Love and Start Small – Start with an art form with which you are most comfortable whether that is music, visual, poetry or any other art form. Start with and follow your passions. When you start with an art form that you love, you are most likely to do it, succeed and try something more.
5. Just Do It! – Don’t be afraid to try new things. This is a process for you and you have to take a leap every now and again. The other part of “Just Do It” is to give yourself permission to take the time and invest it in developing and implementing great arts integrated lessons and activities. The more you do, the more positive results you will see. Trust that process!
I would love your comments on this one!