So, what does an art teacher do during the summer? What does any teacher do during the summer? The idea of relaxation, binge watching your favorite shows on Netflix, family vacations, or laying out by the pool to soak up the sun is always nice to think about and maybe even do for a few days, but we all know there are things that need to be crossed off of your checklist!
Summer break is something we all look forward to, but when it finally arrives the only thing I can think about are the changes that I can make for my students and for myself professionally. As an art educator, I make it a goal to educate myself in my own field and in grade level standards. I use this time to become familiar with fresh ideas I can implement into my classroom routine. Along with some fun in the summer sun, here are a few things I do each summer break to ensure that I’m ready for a new school year!
Implementing the A in ART
You might think as an art teacher I have all the time in the world to create, right? Not this art teacher. When you’ve had a busy school year like me while trying to obtain a master’s degree, creating art seems impossible. But now that summer break is here I have enjoyed creating art for art’s sake, artwork that reflects me and how I have grown as a person. People sometimes think when you say you’re an artist that you can draw or paint anything, which isn’t true. To remain a great artist, one must practice and fail. Can you believe I’ve actually enjoyed that process this summer?
Reading up on the R in ART
I’ve done a lot of reading this summer for personal enjoyment and for professional growth. I know that it’s healthy for me to have a mixture of both so I’m not feeling overwhelmed and stressed about work during the summer. Yes, I want to grow as an educator, but I still want to relax, right?
Here are some books that I’ve read so far over the summer that you may enjoy!
From the Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige, I recently finished the third novel in the series, Yellow Brick War. I just started reading the fourth book in the series, End of Oz. The entire series thus far has been a GREAT read! If you are a Wizard of Oz fanatic like me, you’re going to love how Danielle Paige took a classic novel and made it into a modern war story between two worlds.
Ron Clark’s book, The Essential 55, is also something I believe all teachers could read. No matter the grade level or subject area, you can take away so many new practices and ideas and implement them into your teaching.
The T in ART
Yes, teaching is still something I enjoy doing over the summer. Whether it is teaching myself or coming back to school to teach some of my students, I feel that I still need to perfect specific teaching methods. Teaching art means that I am going to be teaching the same lessons to the same grade levels for a few days. This allows me to critique myself, fix what I saw went wrong so my students can obtain the objective better. Luckily for me, during the summer I get the chance to work with ESP LEAPS students, a program created for students to be tutored during the school year and also during the summer. I get to experiment with new lessons, implement new activities and projects, and incorporate new standards into art lessons that I don’t have much time for during the school year. Even though I feel that teaching is a gift granted to some of the most caring individuals, the learning never stops and the job is never finished! Even in May!
What summer routines do you have in place to ensure that you are well rested for a new school year but also on your “A Game”?