Monday, September 26, 2011

Where do you go when you need help?

In education, we are always learning while we’re teaching.  We search for the resources we need to have a complete lesson unit, or find ways to adapt our lessons in challenging situations.   There are multiple resources available in art education to help with what we need, yet when it comes to travelling to multiple schools or pushing a cart, those resources are trickier to find.  In most cases, it’s learning by doing.

If you find you’re in a situation with the travelling and need additional guidance, don’t hesitate to look for help.  Within your district, you may not be the only one in your situation.  Talk with those who travel and ask the questions needed to find solutions to those challenges.

 In the beginning, a mentor is a wonderful resource, and one you can turn to, even after your first years of teaching.   Even when you get the hang of pushing that cart, you may still need to ask questions a few years down the road.

While researching others who document their challenges and successes with travelling and teaching from cart, I have found some wonderful resources and educators who share their stories…some of which have even shared as a monthly mentor.  I would like to share some links with you that may help with finding others in your situation:

Back in March of 2009, Linda Devlin posted some advice about being on a cart.  The following link will lead you to her blog:

In December 2010, Melissa Schaefer (NAEA’s current Student Chapter President-Elect) shared her insight as a first year teacher on a cart.  You can read her advice here:

Another wonderful resource is by Becca Swanson, who posted a list of tips from a veteran art teacher on a cart here:

Blogs are a wonderful way to follow challenges and successes with fellow art teachers.  While following a blog, you can receive updates on recent posts, comment on stories, and even gain some ideas in creating your own blog for future art educators.

The Art Teacher Blog Directory contains over 160 blogs focused on art education and lessons in the classroom.  Some blogs attached do focus on teaching from a cart or adapting lessons:

The Art Teacher Cookbook is another great resource of gathered ideas and materials for creating a curriculum:

The Creative Flamingo is another resource from an early professional perspective.  Many post focus on the extra duties on top of designing your curriculum!

We all have moments when we need to find help…with lesson ideas, classroom management, organization, or just finding an extra hand.  At times, you may feel that you’re alone…the fact is that you’re not.  Many teachers are in the same situation and are willing to offer advice to help you.  Just ask, and you will receive.

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