Back-2-School! SY2021-22

Back to School time is here! Over the summer, I traveled to Colorado, meditated a lot, cooked for fun, turned 30, and went to the beach. This week was our first week of school and already a lot is happening!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, ConneXions is an Arts Every Day partner school, and as part of that new relationship, I attend their annual Summer Conference, where they have a variety of teaching artists virtually lead workshops on how to integrate arts with other core subject areas.

About half of the courses were asynchronous and the other half were synchronous, but ALL of them were inspiring, creative, and provided tons of resources for teachers to use and adapt to their own content. Some of the highlights were:

Every year BTN hosts a retreat for their teachers and this year it was in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They invited a variety of guest speakers to give talks about our new theme in school: reimagining the future. Some of the workshops were helpful and specific (collaborating and brainstorming with all the school’s teachers on social justice initiatives we want to start) and some were merely theatrical (two hour long lectures about metaphors for embracing the future.) I appreciated the time to be able to connect with my colleagues who I haven’t seen in a long time – or who I had never met in person! – but I also wish we could have had more time to get our rooms ready. We came back to Baltimore and I had two (2!) days to get everything ready.

The challenge of post-pandemic classroom setup

Although I only had a couple of days to get my room ready, I am happy how it turned out! I bough some posters, Christmas string lights, and set up a tea/coffee bar in the back. I even installed curtains on my cupboards to hide the storage. I have to shout out my boo Chappell and my colleague Mike Bohorquez for helping me! The meme above is a little too accurate. Today I had 32-35 students in my classroom, and not enough seats so students were standing. We are still finalizing our rosters and I will be redirecting the students to other art majors before the end of the week lol

MORE EXCITING NEWS: I was accepted as into the Towson University Master of Art Education program! I will be taking one class this semester – Digital Illustration. I want to learn more about this medium so I can be a better teacher. I will complete the program over the next 3.5 years, so I get to take classes at a nice and slow pace 😀 Today was my first day and it was great!

Overall, I’m so excited to teach and learn in person! It’s very rewarding to reconnect to others and to make art in an actual classroom. Looking forward to a great school year!

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