NAEA San Diego Conference

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I am still adjusting to the time change, but I am now back from my trip to San Diego for this years National Art Education Association conference. It was so fantastic I am going to have a hard time putting my experience into words. 20140407_143139

(See… It’s hard for me to put those notes into words.)

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I hadn’t been to an NAEA conference since maybe 2010 when it was held in Baltimore, and all my fellow art ed students and Pratt, and I piled into a car and drove down to stay at my mothers house in nearby Maryland. We had very little idea of what it was like to be an art teacher so it doesn’t surprise me that looking back my choices in seminars seemed random, and are now half forgotten. However, this time around the NAEA conference had an app! I had pre-planned most of the talks I wanted to see, and some I just chose on the fly. I had secondary education in mind and I focused on talks about best practice. I knew more about myself as a teacher, I am actually teaching art full time, and I have now worked at two schools at the high school level. So unlike my college self I had a more direct approach this time around.

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(Myself and Carolyn from the Smithsonian, left to right. )

San Diego was beautiful. I didn’t really explore until the second half of Monday once everything was done and over with. I was lucky enough to have two fellow Pratt art ed alumni attending with me. One who now works for the Smithsonian in their early childhood center, and another who works for the Guggenheim’s education department. We split up during most of the conference with the exception of one talk about education blogs given by the fantastic Mr. E from Tennessee. They wanted to focus on museum education, obviously. However, Monday afternoon we took a trip to Balboa Park, and enjoyed the perfect weather and sunshine.

Coming back to Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart I feel energized. I met some amazing teachers from around the United States as well as from my area. I got the chance to meet five other Sacred Heart network art teachers. It was inspiring and thought provoking, and now that I have finally had a moment to think and process I am ready to bring these big ideas into my teaching right away. I learned so much about all kinds of topics ranging from curriculum development to plain old art assessment. I got ideas like recording my demonstrations for students to revisit. I was even introduced to dynamic ways that digital arts teachers are breaking through to their high school students and guiding them in producing very impressive and thoughtful works of art. I am so thankful that I got the chance to attend such a great conference. It was quite an experience!

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