Think about your art teacher when you were a school kid. Hopefully, you remember that person as a someone who inspired you to create–something– even if you were not artistically inclined. I remember Mr. Fisher, my elementary art teacher who let me help organize supplies in the art room. He encouraged me to keep drawing and always had time to provide feedback on the art I showed him after school. I remember Mr. Kraley, my high school art teacher who always expected excellence and didn’t tolerate a lot of nonsense. He pushed me to always do my best.
Art teachers do what they do because they love art and they love sharing their enthusiasm about creating with others. It’s an exhausting, often thankless, misunderstood profession on one hand, and a rewarding, affirming energizing livelihood on the other.
Once a year art teachers from all over the state gather for the annual Texas Art Education Association convention. Held in San Antonio this year, attendance included about 1,500 art educators! Imagine that many artists and teachers all in one place. (I’ll pause while you contemplate.) Okay! Yes, it’s crazy, creative, energizing madness of the best kind. Teachers come to revive their spirits taking sessions in curriculum, instruction, assessment, and management. There are hands-on workshops in every medium imaginable for every grade level-Painting for elementary, colored pencil for middle school, drawing sessions for high school students, classes in pedagogy for college students studying to be art teachers. There are keynote lectures presented by nationally known artists and educators. The exhibition hall is packed with art supply vendors offering freebies and deep discounts on art supplies, books, and goods. Daily and evening tours and events showcase the local museums, galleries, artists, and landmarks. Basically, it’s an all-out art extravaganza. It is an energizing and renewing time for the teachers who attend. The convention allows for networking, reconnecting with the art spirit, and a way to improve as an artist and a teacher.
If you are a teacher please click on the tab above – Art Teachers. I have posted the presentation materials for the workshops I presented at the TAEA convention. Feel free to use them for your own teaching. If you are not an art teacher, I hope you have a positive memory of someone who encouraged you to use your creativity or taught you how to see the world in a unique way.
Thank you to Mr. Fisher and Mr. Kraley and all art teachers everywhere!