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Re:[teacherartexchange] Artist/Teacher Portfolio

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From: Fran Legman (flegman_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2006 - 05:59:34 PDT


Around 8 years ago, I met a woman on a Getty prof development conference for
art teachers (I was switching careers) who invited me to join her group of
art teachers. We meet once a month, have a potluck, wine and we all bring
projects to share. There are about ten of us; most of us teach elementary,
and a few teach middle school. This is the BEST THING that ever happened to
me as an art teacher (besides this list!) These teachers are so creative,
devoted, fun and are always searching for projects to engage the children
through creative use of media, and cross discipline venues. They are
amazingly creative teachers and I consider myself very lucky to have their
support. I also get/receive wonderful classroom managemnent ideas from them,
including painting with tempera paint WITHOUT water (even though I do have a
sink).

Out of ten, I would say half of us are making our own art, many of us
through grad school. However only a couple of us exhibit on occasion
(except for mandatory shows for our grad programs). I don't think there is
ANY difference in the quality of the teaching that we do, based on who does
their own artwork. I think that those of us that do, NEED to do it for our
own sanity and somehow work it into our schedules. What binds us together
is our devotion to teaching art, attending art ed professional development,
presenting at workshops and consistently seeking to learn to be a more
effective, creative teacher. I happen to be one of those who does do my own
art, not enough to be showing, but always trying to find some time, mostly
in the summer. I'm so tired during the week that most evenings, when done
with my house and family "stuff", I usually google around on art ed websites
and get ideas. Just my two cents.

If any of you want to start similar groups, contact me off-list and I'll
give you more details. Can't rave about it enough.

Fran from NJ

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