I get it. Teachers love new art lessons. You do. Lets be honest. Here is what I have noticed: Every week, my lessons page rocks the stats with the most hits by all of you. No matter what other things I have posted, lessons still rule with you, even if I have not posted a new one for weeks. So, today, I am here to ask…
When I started this blog, I didn’t just want to show lessons from my classroom. I did want to provide some lessons, because those are the backbone of what we do as art educators, but more importantly I wanted to explore all of those little things that happen in the art room, from the organizing, to planning your curriculum, writing new assessments, teacher and student motivation, and resources to help you get the job done. I wanted to zero in on one simple trick that can make your life easier like lining up your class quietly, or talking about why assessment matters. I think this is because I don’t just teach art. Remember? I am also the facilitator for our art department. I plan professional development for the department’s art teachers, and help them with all of those “little things” that make us well rounded teachers. So, my experience is rooted not just in lesson ideas and sharing but in helping art teachers with the daily things that maximize their teaching potential and fining out WHAT they need in order to best MEET their needs.
This is the same philosophy I have with my blog. I want to meet you needs. Be different, and provide something that isn’t necessarily out there. I have lessons to share. I have lots, but I would RATHER show you quick formative assessment to help you check for understanding, motivational books that inspire you, and organizational tips that you can apply right now in your classroom.
Too Much Change
Change for the sake of change is meaningless. Why do you want to change? What do you want to change? When do you want to change it? What kind of change do you want to measure? How will you measure it? Change takes time, energy, money… it’s important to be purposeful in what we change, to understand why the change is needed, and most importantly to be able to measure the success/failure of such changes.
I think teachers could be so much more successful if they focused not just on finding a new lesson (changing), but on HOW you teach a lesson, what strategies you use, what resources you use behind the scenes and what management techniques you might use to make that lesson go smoothly. Do you fully understand how to assess the lessons you already have, in order to know what new lessons you might NEED? Stop simply searching for the new. Search out how to make what you have – better.
This is where I am at as a teacher. I have my tried and true lessons. I may teach a few new lessons each year, however, I would like to hone in on all the other parts of my teaching to ensure the students are getting the lesson, and that the lesson is teaching what I intended. Not just throwing something new at them all the time and hoping it goes well. My mission is to help all of you with that as well.
So…You can go anywhere for a new lesson, they are flooding the internet and art teacher blogs. If you want a new lesson every day don’t come here. Come to the Art of Education, for the rest of the story. Our story. The story of the WHOLE package of becoming an art teacher. The whole package that you can give you students so they can succeed in our changing world.
Do you just go to blogs because of lessons? How much do you value the other content (organization, time-saving techniques, assessment strategies, resources, etc.) compared to lessons? Let me know in the comments!