Art teachers are a special breed, a special breed that doesn’t always get the attention and accolades they deserve. You might even say they’re an endangered species. With education’s ever-increasing emphasis on left-brain academic skills and standardized test results, art class and art teachers are often relegated to second-rate status. But the truth is – art class and art teachers are often the most popular among the students because kids know what they like and what they need.
Since art teachers aren’t getting the attention and value they deserve from the powers that be in education; some teachers and educators have stepped up. Jessica Balsley, an art teacher herself, noticed the void in professional development for art teachers, and decided to offer “Ridiculously Relevant Professional Development for Art Teachers” through her online site, The Art of Education. And she’s done it brilliantly!
This is seriously one of my favorite sites and I’m not even a classroom art teacher. Every week I look forward to the Friday email she sends her subscribers. It’s full of great articles, classroom videos and interesting conversation starters. And when I think she can’t top what she’s done – there’s more great stuff the next week.
Here’s a quick peek and some of what The Art of Education offers:
- Free Lessons – Once a week there’s a new lesson posted. They’re 1 page lesson downloads, tried and tested lessons by seasoned art teachers.
- Online courses – These are fully accredited degree level courses, you can take online. There are a broad range of offerings from Rethinking Kindergarten, Autism and Art and Connecting Art to Common Core.
- Videos – Jessica and the AOE team share loads of tips and ideas for the art classroom in short, easy to watch videos. And since the vast majority of art teachers are highly visual – videos are an even more perfect way to share ideas.
- A National Conference – online ! Classroom budgets are tight – but AOE is making attending a National Conference affordable by hosting it online. They cover a broad amount of content and have an impressive following.
These are just a few of the treasures you’ll find on the AOE site. There’s so much more. If you’re an art teacher that hasn’t yet discovered this treasure – here’s the link. If your school doesn’t have art teachers and you’re a classroom teacher that’s responsible for doing art projects – there are tons of good tools and tips for you too.
Art teachers have the potential to impact students and even test scores in profound ways. Thank you Jessica and AOE for providing all you do to a very special group of teachers.