I’m so energized from this past week’s first days of classes at Towson University. I’m taking five courses: two on Tuesdays (9:30am – 6:50pm), two on Thursdays (9:30 – 7:20pm), and one online. This makes for long days on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but I’m grateful to only have to commute up to campus twice a week since I don’t have a car. The bus ride is about one hour (vs. a 20 minute drive via car LOL crazy) but the ride gives me a chance to meditate and collect myself before and after school.
My cohorts in the program are awesome. The 10 to 14 of us in Art Education have two or more classes together so we have already started bonding and creating a community of respect and excitement for learning! Four of them are also 2nd Bachelor students, meaning they too have degrees or career experience in other fields before choosing to pursue Art Ed.
The Art Education program requirements themselves are very engaging. This semester I am studying the media and techniques to teach to both elementary and secondary students. My two professors for this class are engaging, very experienced, and deeply care about art education. I am also studying Foundations of Secondary Education – the nuts and bolts of how to manage a middle and/or high school classroom – again, with a dynamic and caring professor! All three of these classes will prepare me for the practicalities of teaching: classroom management, lesson planning, and developmentally appropriate art content for kids, designed around the Visual Arts National Standards. I will be an active participant in experimenting and practicing the techniques I am taught, so I get first-hand experience of why those methods work. Both classes will get me in front of kids, with part of the class requirement being 20 hours of observing real teachers and classes in Baltimore County Public Schools. Wanted to share this cool graphic that we discussed in class yesterday:
Art-making is important to me because it teaches us a profoundly personal way of exploring and understanding ourselves and the world around us. It encourages us to be open-minded, to see new perspectives, and to have fun and enjoy ourselves while we explore! It values the experience and the process of our work and lives unfolding, not just the end product or profit.