Monthly Mentor

Krissy Ponden (June)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Krissy has been teaching art to elementary and middle school children for the past 15 years in addition to serving as the department chair. She is the co-coordinator of her school’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and currently serves on the NAEA Commission for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as the Middle Division Commissioner. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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November 01, 2019

Always Growing

By Mary Weimer Green

The year is in full swing, and I’m sure everyone is more than just a little overwhelmed by the seemingly massive amounts of work to be done. Lessons are being tweaked, papers graded, meetings attended, and evaluations are beginning. It seems that there is an endless supply of work and no time!  Despite all of this there are many opportunities on the horizon and you need to take advantage of them!

Now is the time to plan for the rest of this year! During Thanksgiving break and Christmas break, consider adding just one more opportunity to show student work this year to further engage your students and increase the visibility of your program. I know that many of you are thinking, “I can’t possibly add one more thing!”. We all feel overwhelmed at times, but showing your students’ work is not only great for the self-esteem of your students, its great PR for your program!  YAM, Scholastics, and the exhibitions hosted by your local and National Art Education Associations are just a few of the opportunities to expand exposure for your school’s art program. I was shocked to find that fewer and fewer of us are participating in our school district’s art exhibition opportunities. Some of them only require a minimal amount of artwork to be entered from each school. My local district only requires five pieces. We all know the benefits of art for our students, refining cognitive and creative skills, as well as developing a strong sense of craftsmanship. If we as educators don’t go the extra mile to exhibit the results of our teaching (and our student’s learning), how can we hope to keep art education alive? We must advocate for ourselves and our profession.

Utilize your local Art Education Association to develop collaborations with other art teachers and learn about opportunities in areas outside of your school system. Each region in your state will have opportunities to meet other teachers who have similar interests and concerns. Participation in local workshops is also valuable for both learning and networking!

Starting now, expand your reach, raise your visibility and let everyone know what a valuable asset you are! Just be willing to make one small change and watch your program grow!



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