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 01, 2020

The New Normal…Art During a Pandemic

By Glenda Lubiner

Have you ever thought about what happened at the end of the school year? You’re not alone!! Crisis mode teaching is what it was called in my school. Reflecting upon the last three months of school, I am still wondering how we all made it through. Lifelong learner? Yup. We all were this past year as we learned a lot more about technology. I was the person wrote their master’s thesis on a typewriter! Yes, you read that correctly… there were no computers back then! Now I’m the person giving advice on cameras to help make virtual demos a whole lot better! I am confident that we are up for the challenges this year will bring, whether it will be virtual, in the classroom, or a hybrid model.

Our job as art educators is to facilitate, excite, motivate, and instill the love of art in our students. Not all will be the next Michelangelo, Monet, or Dali, but it is our job to give them the experience to explore their ideas and express their talents in any way possible. With this said, we, as teachers need to get our classrooms (virtual or not) and ourselves organized to lead our students on this creative path.

If you’re like me, you’re already planning great things to do this year. Thinking about what worked, what didn’t, what needs to be changed for the better, and how to do great virtual lessons has been on my mind for a few months. The first few days we will engage in ice breakers. It will be quite different meeting your kids online as opposed to in person. Getting to know my students lets me understand where they are coming from so that I can address their needs in my room. Our classrooms are the ones where they usually feel the safest. I’m excited for this new challenge, and a bit scared too. My hope is that we can all share our ups and downs, successes and failures so that we can all learn from each other.

Wishing you all a creative and fulfilling school year!

- GL

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