What have you learned from your observations and reflections throughout the course of keeping this online journal?
How has the practice of critical reflection and analysis transformed your teaching?
Identify key changes in your understandings about art education. Expand on one of these changes.
This online journal has been helpful to me during this program because it keeps a history of readings and videos that stood out to me during past courses. If something I am currently working on sparks my memory of a past reading I can go back to my bibliographies I posted here and get the reference. Something that I didn’t plan on happening was this online blog/journal has documented my teaching journey the last 2 years. When I got accepted to Ohio State I was a year post-undergrad and full time subbing looking for a art teacher position. My first classroom environment blog post was based on my art cabin at the summer camp I was teaching at because I had yet to have my own classroom. That July I got hired as a part time art teacher at my first district and my first observation post was completed by my chairperson/co-worker who now I consider to be a life long friend and mentor of mine. Last March I found out my position was being cut at the school and I had to apply again and look for a new district. This past year my blog posts have been about now my new classroom since being hired (finally) full time at a district I love and see myself being here for the long haul. It has been a time capsule of my growth and experiences getting to this point.
I believe this practice of critical reflection and analysis has positively transformed my teaching. I have mentioned previously that my research has pushed me to become a more reflective teacher. I am constantly asking students for feedback and then using that feedback to plan our next lessons and curriculum. I believe that this process has also pushed me to include much more student choice than in my classes last year. I think it’s a combination of this practice and also becoming more confident in my teaching. My understanding of art education from being in undergraduate school to becoming a full time teacher has been night and day. One key change is what I mentioned previously about the addition of student choice in my curriculum.I now have hands on experience and I am learning what works and what doesn’t work for my specific classes. I have learned this past year that you have to evolve and adjust your teaching strategies and methods to fit each of your classes and students and there isn’t a “right” way to teach. How you teach is different for each student. I have taken what I learned about art education and used it to inform my teaching but then adapted to my current students. I have seen first hand how much more engaged my students are in what they are learning when they get a say in what they are creating. I have found through this I also form connections easier with my students because I learn more about them through their artistic choices and it sparks more conversation between us. I am going to continue to nurture this process as I have more years teaching but I like how it is evolving.