Wow!!! This is such an amazing idea. I think I am going to borrow it. What a wonderful way for Art teachers to educate themselves in their own style of professional development. Especially when we are such an isolated group with minimal direction and opportunities. Kudos!
Heritage High School
VAPA Department Chair
From: Fran Legman [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 5:48 PM
To: TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group
Subject: Re:[teacherartexchange] changing careers
Although I read a lot more than I wrote, I've gotten a lot from this list. I asked many technical questions that all of your were so gracious to answer. I began teaching as a second career when I was forty, and its already been 16 years. I understand the feelings of thinking about another career.. Although teaching art K-5 can be draining (and fun) I couldn't think of anything else I would prefer doing. But I really needed a change. Unexpectedly a position became available in my district as a digital photography teacher in middle school. I would not have made this switch when my kids were young, but they are all out of the house now. Although I'm working very long hours developing curriculum, etc. I enjoy it. Its nice to see less than 500 students a week and also to have more (sort of) adult conversations with them.
I'm also been involved with a group of art teachers (approx 8-10) from different districts - we meet once a month at someone's house and enjoy a potluck dinner, wine included. After we gripe for a while about students, administrators or whatever while we eat and drink, we settle down and share projects that we have been doing during the past month. We take notes and digital photos and share class management tips and ideas. I learned so much from this very dedicated, creative bunch of teachers. Of course, it really keeps you on your toes because you want to show highly creative art projects. I have binders of project ideas - all tried and true by an art teacher. Many times someone does your project with their class, adds a twist, and brings it back to a different meeting. I highly recommend this to any of you if you feel isolated. This group was started 20 years ago by an art teacher who is now retired, but she still comes to the meetings. Our June meeting is held at a teacher's lake house and we just kick back, enjoy and don't bring ANY projects!!
My only problem now, is finding other digital photography teachers to share ideas and information with! Any suggestions?