You have probably heard me tooting the horn of Teacher-Centered PD. (And I will probably never stop!)
Because here’s the thing – our professional development is Teacher-Centered for a reason. It gets US inspired so that (finish the sentence with me) –> we can be Inspiring to our Students.
You see, while our PD should be Teacher-Centered, our classroom (physical, remote, whatever) needs to be Student-Centered.
That’s why arts integration and SEAL are so important for us to learn about and use in our teaching!
So to clarify the title of this post… inside your classroom, the arts integration experiences for learning are NOT for you. They are for your students!
Why am I bringing this up?
Good question, because I get this concern from educators a lot:
“I’m not good at art. I can’t integrate it into the classroom.”
Not every teacher is good at or “into” music and drawing and movement and theater and poetry and digital media and storytelling and . . .
(You get the point.)
However, just because the teacher doesn’t like an art form, doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t implement it.
In fact, if you don’t implement a variety of art forms, then you may be missing out on reaching the one student that really needs it most!
Hold up – read that again…
If you don’t implement a variety of art forms, then you may be missing out on reaching the one student that really needs it most!
If you are uncomfortable at first, that’s fine. It’s all part of the teaching & learning process – a creative process.
For example: I am no visual artist. Like, I draw stick figures and warped bubble letters. However, I know I have students that NEED to have an outlet for their drawing talents and, who am I to hold them back? So, I create arts integrated opportunities for my students to dig into the curriculum using various visual arts techniques. (And sometimes, where appropriate, I just give them full reign to see what they do . . . and it’s amazing!)
How do I know a variety of arts techniques? Another great question!
That’s where the Teacher-Centered PD comes in!
See while I may still be a stick-figure, bubble letter artist in my own right, I do give myself the opportunities to learn many art ideas, skills and techniques so that I can gain some familiarity with them and be able to introduce them to my students.
For example, just a couple of months ago, during one of the Guest Expert Workshops inside our SEAL Teacher Training course, I learned how to draw cartoons! It was a blast and I loved how our Guest Expert, Marek Bennett was able to break things down in a way that I could bring the experience back to my students. (And I did!)
Here’s the proof!
So, as you think ahead to your next lessons and activities, consider how you might be able to step out of your comfort zone for the sake of your kids. What’s an art form or idea YOU might try??