Monthly Mentor

Heidi O'Donnell (December)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. December's monthly mentor is Heidi O'Donnell. Heidi is a high school art educator in mid-coast Maine with twenty years of experience and an insatiable appetite for learning new things. She holds a MEd in Built Environment Education, a BA in Visual Arts, a BS in Arts Education, and a minor in Art History, all from the University of Maine at Orono. Heidi is a recent graduate of the NAEA School for Art Leaders and serves as a National Art Honor Society Sponsor. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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December 01, 2017

Season of Giving

From: Heidi O'Donnell

I have so many thoughts and directions for my contribution to this blog buzzing around in my head; I sought out a colleague for advice. I was told, “Simply, start with today.”

You won’t be reading this for a few days, but today as I write, it’s ‘Giving Tuesday.’ Giving Tuesday started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation as a response to post-Thanksgiving consumerism – Black Friday and Cyber Monday…. Fueled by social media, Giving Tuesday has grown significantly and the benefits have reached many.

In the spirit of giving, I am thankful for how fortunate I am to have committed my life to arts education. By engaging in my passion, I have been blessed to give (and receive) so much over the years. As many of you recognize, giving in the teacher realm often extends beyond monetary means. [Blogger’s note: Yes, I acknowledge that many of us dole out a lot of cash to supplement our classroom and student needs – but let’s set that aside for the moment.] Teachers, by their very nature, are givers. We give to our students, to our peers, to our administrators, to our communities (whether they are local, state, or national), and even to ourselves. Our giving doesn’t happen once a year on a designated date as a reaction to societal trends, our giving happens daily through encouragement, support, listening, guiding, sharing… The list goes on.

As the year comes to a close and in the midst of the Season of Giving, I give to you over the course of this month, my time, my thoughts, my questions, my concerns, and my musings.

My first gift to you is a resource that some have found useful:


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