SchoolArts Magazine

Summer 2019

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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P O I N T O F V I E W I t can sometimes be a challenge for art educators to find and participate in meaningful professional devel- opment (PD). And, if you want to develop your own PD, there's always the question of funding. Although I have funded some of my own PD, I have also been fortunate to secure funding on a number of occasions. Funding from your District Initially, you should check with your school district. They may have fund - ing to help with expenses in total or in part. My school district offers an hourly stipend for PD that teachers participate in outside the school day and during the summer. I have also used this to defray some of the costs of attending programs; those hours can add up quickly when you're participat - ing in full-day week-long programs. Funding from Museum Programs When you apply to a museum pro- gram, you should research to see if they offer scholarship or fellowship monies. It may take a bit of effort to apply, but it's certainly worth it when it comes through. I have also received a fellowship from the Fund for Teach- ers (FFT). FFT is specifically designed to fund teachers' summer PD. You can attend an existing program or design an experience of your own. You do have to apply, but they award a large number of grants each year. FFT has awarded more than $23.5 million in grants to more than 6,300 educa- tors over the past thirteen years. Funding from State Organizations Don't look past your state's profes- sional organizations either. They may offer at least partial funding for attend - ing special PD—usually if you also offer to present about it at the next state conference or convention. You should also check with any local, state, and national teacher unions to which you might belong. They typically have funds available for personal PD endeav - ors, but again, you must apply and these funds might be tied to specific topics or be limited to certain types of teaching. My last thought on funding: Check with any and all organizations to which you belong. They may have one-time funding available to support members' professional growth, and you don't want to miss out. Construct Your Own PD A few years ago, I joined colleagues in my district to create a study group to examine topics of importance to elementary art teachers. We would choose a book, read chapters, and meet to discuss our reading and plan how we could use what we have learned. I especially remember exploring teaching accommodations for the elementary artroom and also aesthetics. This format allowed us to choose our topics, set our own sched- ules for meeting, and determine the pace of our learning. It also provided like-minded individuals with whom I could share thoughts and ideas. I know that my participation in these intensive, week-long PD offer - ings, study groups, and conferences help to recharge me as a teacher. They help to continue the passion I have for teaching art. After 29 years of teaching, it becomes even more of an imperative to ignite, excite, and motivate myself… and my students can sense this. I share all this with you to encour- age and support you as a continual learner. It's not only good for your stu - dents, but it's essential for your own personal growth. And dare I say, it allows you control over your learning, control to choose a topic of interest to you, and the control to grow when you are eager and energized to do so. I would love to hear from you about your experiences or other ideas you may have on this topic. All the best as you own your professional growth! Thom Knab is the president of the National Art Education Association and an art teacher at Dodge Elementary School in East Amherst, New York. tkvolley15@ aol.com Owning Your Own Professional Development A variety of professional development resources. Photo by Thom Knab. Thom Knab SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 11 M articipation in these intensive, week-long PD offerings, stud groups, and conferences help to recharge me as a teacher.

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