SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2012

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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MAnAging The ArTrooM Speaking Up for Art The largest event I organize is the school's annual Fine Arts Night. Using a local company, I have students' artwork framed and put on display in the gym during scheduled performances by the choir, orchestra, drama club, and art club. Kelley Quinn McGee W hen it comes to spreadIt is used to display articles, artworks, ing the word about your calendars, newspaper clippings, and school's art program, you pictures that show what we are doing, are the biggest advocate. how we are learning, and trending Before I started teaching art, I was told ideas in art education. that you are your art In addition, sendprogram's only true ing parents an art Advocating your program advocate and, after newsletter every to parents, the school, the past few years week presents them the community, and the with learning tarof teaching, I have school district is vital. found this to be true. gets to discuss with If you would like oththeir children. Give ers to see the significance of art in eduparents the resources to understand cation, then advocating your program what you are teaching and how chilto parents, the school, the community, dren are learning. and the school district is vital. The School Parents Over the past two years, during Gaining parental support for your proNational Arts in Education Week, the gram will help them develop an undermusic teacher and I presented student standing of what the arts do for their artworks and music performances each children. One way of doing this is by day during the morning announcedisplaying student artwork in the halls ments. I also created a long banner and around your artroom. If visitors for students to sign as a pledge to stay don't know what you're doing in the involved in the arts. I e-mailed classartroom, they won't understand what room teachers ideas on how to make an students are learning. interdisciplinary lesson using the arts I have a large advocacy bulletin in different subjects. The whole school board right outside my classroom door. came together to support the arts during that week. 14 December 2012 SchoolArts The community Art projects for the public are often seen in the art displays we do for events at local community centers. Beyond the art shows, I also select important events to develop outdoor student art installations. My favorite projects are International Day of Peace and Earth Day. I use these special days to teach students about the importance of giving their artwork a voice. For Peace Day, we participate in the Pinwheels for Peace project, where we display pinwheels in front of the school with words and images of what peace means to each student. For Earth Day, I focus on using recycled materials to create art with paper, plastic, or aluminum. The art is then displayed alongside the environmental club's battery collection station. The School district Communicating with your school district's community relations staff is an effective way to have local publications notified about events put on by your art program. It is imperative to let the community know what your students are doing. Advocating for my school's art program has always come naturally to me, but it is often time-consuming. There are many events and art projects, so I have to decide which ones are best for my students and situation. However, if you take the time, you will gain more support, volunteers, and a better understanding from the community and parents. Kelley Quinn McGee is an art teacher at Eugenia Porter Rayzor Elementary in Lantana, Texas.

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