Tag Archives: paea

Total Leadership: Vision & Values

My Leadership Vision

In this exercise, describe the kind of leader you want to become by writing a short story of your life between now and fifteen years in the future.

From Total Leadership by Stewart D Friedman

The journey toward my leadership began in 2013 when I started working at the School District of Philadelphia. Due to enrollment issues, I was laid off from my previous position at a prestigious private school in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and I was definitely left feeling a bit jaded about that. That summer I applied to every teaching position I could find, but no one gave me an opportunity to even get my foot in the door. Labor day was fast approaching, which meant school was starting soon, and I was beginning to think I would have to start waiting tables or become a nanny- neither of which appealed to me.

Labor day weekend I was at the beach and received a phone call from the School District of Philadelphia to come in for an interview that Tuesday. I had to have a portfolio of my own art, showcasing a diversity of mediums and all mounted or framed. I was feeling panicked. I left the beach early Monday morning, to get home in time to go to the art store and get mat boards and to swing by a friend’s to borrow their mat cutter.

I of course got everything prepared and was hired by the district to start the following week. I knew nothing of the schools I had to choose from except what little info I could gather from the internet, which all made it seem hopeless, so I chose the school that said it had a garden, because that it least was a ray of hope to me. It was a tough school, and some of the administration was not at all supportive of the teachers. Many teachers in my shoes would have quit. Many in our district do quit. But I am stubborn, so I stuck it out. It was a struggle, and after 9 years of teaching I felt like I knew nothing. I was isolated in my setting and exhausted. This is when it happened. This is when my journey began, although did not realize it yet.

I started going to these meeting for art teachers hosted by the amazing Lynne Horoschak at Moore College of Art and Design. There were a solid 3-4 of us that would attend at the beginning and just get together and talk about school, and support one another. Lynne started to recruit me to inspire other teachers to attend, and even had me lead the meetings. Then, Lynn informed me she was retiring, but encouraged me to keep the meetings going. She introduced me to Lauren Stichter who assumed Lynn’s position at Moore, and with her help and my leadership of the group, we sustained the meetings at Moore, and the group grew to become the Philadelphia Art Teachers Alliance (PATA).

Around 2013, I also became more involved in the Pennsylvania Art Education Association. Just feeling that dire need to be connected to other art teachers, I went to every event I possibly could. Robin Brewer and Lisbeth Bucci took me under their wing at the 2013 conference, and from there I felt a connection to them. Eventually, I took on a board position with the PAEA as a regional representative for our very large state. I started to consider what my future with the organization would look like. I knew eventually I would want to take on a larger role with the Leadership Council (LC) but when? Robin was president when I started thinking about what my leadership would look like. Then Lisbeth became president-elect, and then I started to think about who I would want to follow in that position, and it was clear as day to me that if anyone, I wanted to follow the line of Diane Wilkin, to Robin Brewer, to Lisbeth Bucci, and then me. So here I am now, as president-elect of the PAEA, and it’s a little scary, but I will figure it out.

One thing about me is that no matter how daunting a task or job is, I know I can figure it out. That’s just how my mind works. It may scare the pants off me at first and cause lots of anxiety but I can and will get to where I need to be. And if I mess up along the way, I learn from it. Mistakes are steps to success. Weirdly I sound positive right now, but I don’t think that I am always the most positive person, and that is something I hope to work on.

Through my work with PATA and PAEA I hope to help support art teachers in their roles and to advocate more profoundly for art education. I want to be a strong and confident leader whom others can depend on and I would hope to have the wisdom to understand boundaries of when I give too much of myself. As a leader I hope to learn how to better focus my time and energy and to balance more goals in the most efficient manner. I want to be an authentic leader leading with my authentic self and understanding my sense of purpose and direction. That’s my destination for the next six years or so, and it’s hard for me to fathom what the day to day might be like, but I know that I will adapt as needed.

Looking further into the future, I see everything I am doing as leading up to taking on a role as a district art administrator, which is something I have said in whispers to close friends before, but in being true to my authentic self, this is something I do feel like I have been and will be working up to. That may mean taking further Graduate courses for an arts administration degree, but I will cross that bridge when I get there. Currently, I am far too busy to consider taking Grad courses again!

I feel like I’ve bonked this first exercise…I mostly wrote about what got me to where I am and did not write so much about how I imagine my future in leadership will look… or how I will make the world better in some way. Is this even a leadership vision?? I am not sure how to envision something so vague at this point. Maybe this will get cleaned up and redone later… For now let’s call this Version 1.

NAEA School for Art Leaders

In July I will be attending the NAEA School for Art Leaders. I have decided to use my blog as my venue for my exercises and reflections. So be prepared for that if anyone is actually still looking at this thing! It’s been a few years since I have been on here!

I obviously could do these reflections and such in my sketchbook, but I find typing to be easier for me to get what’s on my mind out there. I have horrible handwriting and I don’t tend to organize my thoughts well on paper. If I do it here, then I will be able to more easily reference my ideas and look back on my work.

I will be reading these two books, and doing a lot of work on here as well as in my sketchbook. I imagine I will be sharing those images also.

Anyways, bear with me as I work through my leadership values. 🙂

Lastly, there are a few folks I need to thank for helping me make this journey possible. I started a GoFundMe account to help pay for the cost of attending, lodging, and travel to Arkansas, and the following families are making it happen for me: the fabulous Fox/Shank Family, the Gonzalez’s (My mom and stepfather!), the ever loving and giving Hunters, the marvelous Moons, good friends the Weissmans, good pal Carla Fernandez, partner in leadership goals Lora Durr, my PAEA mentors and colleague Lisbeth Bucci and Robin Brewer, the super Shindells, high school pal Amber Eshelman, the supportive Dahlkempers/Alfonsos, the marvelous Mahoneys, old pal from Georgia La Rhinehart, the handsome Hongs, the stupendous Slabodas, and the first to support my campaign the Buscainos.

pARTners are making it happen!

pARTners

Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with my pARTners* from Methacton High School. Mrs. Ferenchak & Ms. McCauely are the cosponsors of their NAHS and have worked with their students to help provide some supplies for the Nebinger art room. I am very grateful for their contribution! They plan to continue fundraising, which of course, I am continually grateful and super ecstatic for.

It was so nice to meet with the students and learn a little about them, all while enjoying my favorite bagel in the whole world at Panera Bread. I wish the seniors much luck in college!!

Sidenote- After we parted ways, I went to the Container Store…because it was right there…It was my first time. Oh. My. Gawd. I was in color coded organization heaven! Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to organize my art room. This place will break my wallet for sure. So many ways to organize!!

*pARTners is a pilot program started with the PAEA (Pennsylvania Art Education Association) and PATA (Philadelphia Art Teachers Alliance). This amazing program was developed by Robin Brewer to help support teachers in settings where they have little to know budget (such as the SDP). In this pilot program, teachers with a National Art Honors Society in the suburbs were paired with a teacher from the School District of Philadelphia who is also active in PATA.

Where does the time go??

I had such great aspirations of writing a blog post every other day, but it’s just not happening right now… I am glad I moved my blog off of Tumblr. I hope WordPress proves to be better. At least now it will be easier to move it to blogspot/blogger (whatever it’s called now) if this doesn’t work out. I want to buy my domain, but I will wait to see if I like this host or not…Don’t know if that matters. Oh well.

Anyway, I wanted to write more and reflect on the lessons I did and write about the lessons I want to do, but frankly, there is just no time to do that. I am really gonna have to shove my ideas together last minute like I always do. And somehow, like always, everything comes together and works out. So with this post I will share some photos of a few projects we did this year. Let me go ahead and upload them, and maybe I will talk about whether or not I liked the project and if we will do it again. 🙂

5th grade name mandala- marker
5th grade name mandala- marker

1st grade Pop Art, Jasper Johns inspired Name Design- crayon resist
1st grade Pop Art, Jasper Johns inspired Name Design- crayon resist

2nd grade, black glue line flower still lif- crayon resist
2nd grade, black glue line flower still lif- crayon resist

Kindergarten, paper roller coaster sculptures
Kindergarten, paper roller coaster sculptures

Kindergarten, Eric Carle inspired painted paper and cut paper collage- tempera paint
Kindergarten, Eric Carle inspired painted paper and cut paper collage- tempera paint

Kindergarten, Van Gogh inspired sunflowers- Oil pastel with water color
Kindergarten, Van Gogh inspired sunflowers- Oil pastel with water color

1st grade symmetrical masks inspired by Tribal African Masks- cut paper
1st grade symmetrical masks inspired by Tribal African Masks- cut paper

1st grade Modigliani portraits- oil pastel
1st grade Modigliani portraits- oil pastel

6th grade- surreal 1pt perspective bedrooms- color pencil
6th grade- surreal 1pt perspective bedrooms- color pencil

7th grade- Op art color wheel- color pencil
7th grade- Op art color wheel- color pencil

7th grade-
7th grade- “All about me”- water color

Flowers traced on plexi with sharpie painted with acrylic....(student teacher taught lesson)
Flowers traced on plexi with sharpie painted with acrylic….(student teacher taught lesson)

IMG_0858
8th grade, Matisse inspired- cut paper

4th grade- Stacked name design- markers
4th grade- Stacked name design- markers

4th grade- op art inspired hand design- color pencil
4th grade- op art inspired hand design- color pencil

kindergarten- circles and loops- crayons
kindergarten- circles and loops- crayons

Kindergarten- Robert Frost poem inspired image...Cut/torn/painted paper
Kindergarten- Robert Frost poem inspired image…Cut/torn/painted paper

Kindergarten- gyotaku printing and bubble wrap printing- tempera paint
Kindergarten- gyotaku printing and bubble wrap printing- tempera paint

1st grade- glue line pumpkin drawing- chalk
1st grade- glue line pumpkin drawing- chalk

kindergarten- Mondrian inspired- crayon
kindergarten- Mondrian inspired- crayon

3rd grade- Kandinsky inspired composition- tempera paint
3rd grade- Kandinsky inspired composition- tempera paint

4th grade- Adaptive art lesson for Autistic Support student
4th grade- Adaptive art lesson for Autistic Support student

Okay… so I am realizing I have way more images of the kindergarten work. Let me explain. One of the kindergarten classes got to take art twice. Lucky them! We have art on rotation at my school. Quarterly that is- every quarter I get a new group, and sometimes it just works out that a class will get to repeat a special. So not only did kindergarten get to repeat art but they also tend to move through the projects super duper fast, hence lots of kinder art up above. I realize a goal of mine is to get them to be a little more thoughtful, but also to try and expose the other grades to more art without harming the process of their working habits and flow. There was some sculptural work done this year too. My student teacher did it, but I realize I did not take photos with my personal camera. They are on artsonia. BUT, that too is a goal of mine- to get more 3-dimensional work in each class and grade level. I was very apprehensive this year due to space limitations (storage), resources, not knowing the students and their abilities, and room climate, but this year will be different. Not everyone will be working in clay, and those who get clay won’t even be working in “real” clay, but still they will be exposed to the basics. So yeah. Good to have goals….let’s hope I can realize them. So dang ambitious. Ugh. Gives me anxiety.

Alright now. Looking at these projects… right off the bat- not doing the Kandinsky one again, unless I find a better version of it. I just don’t get enough of the students’ voice in it. Maybe we could do a mini version of it to learn about him and the elements of art, but I refuse to spend the time we did on those pieces to get such mechanical reproductions. I want to see more expressive work coming from my little darlins. On that note, as hypocritical as it sounds, I will keep my Mondrian, simply because it is an easy and fail safe project to do with the younger ones especially when teaching the primary colors. There are lots of other ways to do the Mondrian lesson though, and I may explore those options…

The “All about me Lesson” I borrowed from a friend. I loved the idea of it for the past two years, but I think I am done with it now. I may adapt it to something new… maybe. I’m not sure yet. I last used it to teach 8 different watercolor techniques to my 8th graders. Might try something with that, do away with the analogous color scheme, because frankly, they are still just grasping what the elements are and how to use the color wheel (last year was their very first year having art). So, yeah, baby steps.

I will still do Op art, maybe not the same ones, but the kids love those lessons. I know I need to scaffold the instructions better for all learners though. More goals. lol.

I’m keeping everything else. A few edits here and there of course as any good teacher would do. 🙂 I look forward to adding a lot more lessons and stressing myself out to the nth degree with all the extra work I will be giving myself. But I am sure the students will make some awesome stuff. Check in with me in a few months and see how I feel about it then. haha.

Art of Education online conference and swag

 Last week I attended an online art ed conference hosted by The Art of Education. I registered early for $89 bucks, so I got that sweet swag you see above, as well as some digital swag including handouts and some discounts at some decent retailers like Blick art and a great discount to Arts and Activity magazine which I will be taking advantage of!

I truly enjoyed the convenience of doing a PD and conference from home at my computer, and I also enjoyed the format in which they chose to present the information. Doing short TED-like talks was a great way to deliver a lot of info in a little time, and we all have the ‘afterpass‘ to revisit the information AND the presenters put up additional information as well! Sooooo, if we need more, we can get more. Great!

I will say one thing I would have like to had beforehand would have been some of their handouts. I’m the type of gal who likes to follow along with the handouts when someone references them, so I felt a little wobbly at times- but really it was not that big of a deal due to the speed of the presentations. I probably would have been wobbly regardless. Ha! Drink your coffee woman and keep up! 😉

Well as far as the swag goes, I am most excited about the stuff Blick Art gave us. They also did a lesson on it during the conference. Basically it is this lesson on the golden ratio, incorporating math (geometry) real hardcore like. It can be taken down a few notches for the youngsters, but I like the idea of using this for my older kiddos. It uses Roylco tissue circles (which I will be buying out of pocket due to no budget), gridded paper, and glue sticks. I am excited to give it a whirl, especially with my handicap in mathematics… this should be interesting… haha.

Anyway, I am glad I gave the AOE conference a shot this summer. Can’t wait for the winter one! And then the next summer one, and then the next winter one! … Gues I always have PAEA and NAEA conferences to hold me over too. 😉