Saturday, October 26, 2013

Expeditionary Learning National Conference Day 3

Today is the final day of the conference. I am looking forward to returning home. I am ready to rest and synthesize all the information and ideas produced by the classes and conversations.

Perhaps the most interesting idea I am taking home is to provide 20% of my class time for students to work freely on the art project of their choice. Many companies, such as Google and 3M, have used this "20%" model succesfully with their employees in order to promote creativity. My plan is to make Fridays available for "Personal Expeditions." Students will be able to take their art in any direction they choose, but I will expect them to create their own Guiding Questions and Learning Targets, and then to report on their learning regularly. My hope is that students will discover many of their best and most creative works of art in these self-designed products/lessons.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Expeditionary Learning National Conference Day 2

Well, I survived. No, not zombies, nor even a bad Brad Pitt zombie movie. I made it through my Master Class presentation...and I enjoyed it. Most of my nervousness abated quickly. Only a few minutes into the class I asked everyone to draw, and then I realized I was just hanging out with a bunch of fellow artists and talking about art education. I could do that all day.

Last night I finally got a decent night's sleep (7 hours). That is more than I think I slept over the past two nights combined. I even got up and ran a couple miles on a treadmill (I brought my running shoes and figured I better use them).  So with all that now behind me, I am looking forward to a new day of learning to be a better teacher.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Expeditionary Learning National Conference Day 1

I am in Atlanta, Georgia, for the Expeditionary Learning National Conference. I will be teaching a Master Class this afternoon entitled "Creating a Culture of Artistic Excellence through Cumulative Art Projects." Yeah, sounds academic right? At least, I hope it will be practical and helpful. Ironically, I am pretty nervous to teach my peers. Teaching a room full of rowdy teenagers is fairly simple. Teaching a room full of rowdy teachers is downright scary.