Monthly Mentor

Natalie C. Jones (February)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Natalie C. Jones is an artist, small business owner, and the director of education at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She has 10 years of experience working as an art teacher and teaching artist throughout the east coast and the Midwest. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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August 19, 2020

R-E-S-P-E-C-T – Find Out What It Means to Me!

By Glenda Lubiner

As I get ready to start my “new” school year teaching remotely, I’ve been thinking about rules in the online classroom. Last March when we all went online in “crisis” mode teaching we didn’t even think about rules in the classroom, all I thought about was recording lessons, posting them to my Google Classroom and hoped that my 200 or so students would go online, do the assignments, and submit them. The majority did and about 40% of them did a fabulous job. But now as we start teaching remotely again, and we will be live all day, we must have rules, just like we do in brick and mortar. The thing I worry about most is how tech savvy these kids are and that they know things I will never comprehend……I’m still try to figure out FAX machines! All kidding aside, these students will find a way to loop themselves doing work, privately (or not so privately) chat when they’re supposed to, and who knows what else. With that said, I think we might need some rules too.

Being respectful is the most important rule for both the teachers and the students. As I begin my 25th year teaching, I have learned that there must be mutual respect between teacher and student, and teacher and parents. We must remember that whether we are in person or online others will be affected by the words we say and write. We must remember to also respect the opinion of others and agree to disagree.

When teaching on line, you must be engaging. The students need to feel like they are an important part of your class. In the classroom, we get to know our students well. We must do the same when we are teaching remotely. As art teachers, some of us will have returning students whom we know well. Now is the time to give them leadership roles. Pair them up with a buddy, make them both feel like they respected and an integral part of the class.

To be continued…

Artfully yours,


Clear and concise – those dreaded words we heard when we are writing National Boards. But it’s true. Your students have different ways of learning, so you must be attentive to all of them and help them along the way. You do not need to tell a long story about every project you are doing. You might enjoy talking like I do, but the kids just want to work.

Rule #3 Relationships Are Key to Online Learning 

A positive relationship with students is critical to online learning. 

Moore stresses that online classes don’t work if they’re impersonal. Students must feel as though they’ve connected with a teacher who is invested in their success. 

Every day may feel like casual Friday in an online classroom where you don’t see anyone in person, but a certain level of formality is still expected in your communication with instructors. In addition to proper punctuation and spelling, it’s good netiquette to use respectful greetings and signatures, full sentences and even the same old “please” and “thank you” you use in real life.


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