Monthly Mentor

Shelly Breaux (December)
Each month, a different member and NAEA awardee is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Shelly Breaux established the Art Program at David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy in Lafayette, LA. In her classroom, Breaux focuses on inquiry-based learning, problem solving, collaboration, conceptual thinking, and constructive criticism. She believes in using art as an educational tool, and that art provides her students with a voice and an outlet. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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May 31, 2013

Decoding and Encoding Meaning... in Community

  Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.  ~John Cotton Dana

Words cannot express gratitude for the visionary leadership of NAEA Executive Director Dr. Deborah Reeve and the extraordinary NAEA staff for the provided scaffolding and direction that helps art educators to become a powerful community of leaders in our increasingly visual age.  Connecting us through annual convention, publications, events, e-portfolios and other amazing member benefits, NAEA supports and inspiring us in our important work while furthering our professional development and networking.   Thank you!

Serving as Monthly Mentor for May 2013 has been an unique opportunity to reflect on and share how I SEE--and apply my FTC vision of encoding and decoding art and experience to my teaching practice, whether working with learners in K-16, graduate level or professional development experiences such as SummerVision DC

Started in 2010 as a Professional Learning Opportunity, SummerVision DC has evolved into a Professional Learning Community (PLC) consisting of diverse art and non-art educators to foster learning, networking and leadership while nurturing the nurturer.   The intensive experience includes virtual and actual decoding/exploration of the museum as a work of art.  Daily visual journaling provides opportunity for encoding the pedagogical interdisciplinary experiences in each museum so participants often feel renewed in artistic skills through practice affirmed by community sharing.  Carole Henry, author of The Museum Experience (2010), links Falk and Dierking’s (1992) broad definition of a museum experience as all that transpires to involvement in SummerVision DC. That is, it encompasses participants' first thoughts of attending SummerVision DC, to their experience during the four-day experience, and then to how they think about the experience and how it impacts their lives as artists and as educators in the future.

As your summer break approaches, please consider joining SummerVision DC 2013.  Whatever your plans, here's hoping each of you will get the rest and renewal needed to explore the meaning of your life and work--and share it with your students and our growing NAEA professional community.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
~TS Eliot

-Renee Sandell


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