SchoolArts Magazine

September 2017

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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Page 18 of 58

P O I N T O F V I E W W hen I began student teaching with the ridicu - lously talented Jen Dahl, I remember looking at the school calendar and ask - ing about the two days slated for teacher conventions at the end of October. When I asked if we would attend a convention, she replied, "Nope! Take the days off." She didn't have to tell me twice! At the time, I knew little about the Wisconsin Art Education Asso- ciation (WAEA). I briefly attended a fall conference in college and noticed an award on Jen's classroom wall from WAEA's Youth Art Month Program. Jen became involved in WAEA shortly after and encouraged me to do the same. Now, almost nine years later, I have held several positions on the WAEA board and currently serve as president. I can't begin to describe the opportuni - ties that my state's association has pro- vided for my students, my community, and me. WAEA has been the most pow - erful advocacy tool I have had as an art educator in Wisconsin. Opportunities for Students I have found that the biggest advo- cacy tool has been providing oppor- tunities for my students that extend beyond the classroom; WAEA's Youth Art Month program is one of the best! Each year, I submit works of art to my Regional Youth Art Month Show. Students are excited to show their work in a venue with students from area schools. They attend the show with their parents and truly feel like artists. The State Youth Art Month Show is held at the State Capitol in Madison. Parents and students travel to Madison for a celebration and the students truly feel like celebrities! I bring them flow - ers and announce these students on my Facebook page, the school announce - ments, and in the district newsletter. There is a buzz around school as this is happening and students ask if their work will be selected next year. Parents are excited and share photos and stories with other parents and community members. This year, one of my talented young artists was even a state award winner. This was pub - lished in the local paper; a lovely piece of advertising for our art program. Networking As I have become more involved in WAEA, I continue to extend my circle of art educator contacts and friends. I have attended WAEA-sponsored art idea exchanges, summer hands-on workshops, as well as many state and national conventions. These opportuni - ties have allowed me to advocate for my own program while learning about lesson ideas, advocacy tools, classroom management, and so much more. Sharing Experiences Attending these events also provides opportunities for me to share my experiences with students. I currently teach in a high-poverty school; watch - ing students' faces light up as I show them photos from my most recent trip to New York City and of me at Georgia O'Keeffe's house is positively electric. Leadership There's no doubt that WAEA has also provided me with opportunities to hone my leadership skills, which has allowed me to develop more of a voice in my schools. I am now able to more effectively communicate with other teachers and administrators about the needs of a successful art program, allowing me to be granted just a bit Stand Out in Your State Tiffany Beltz I have found that the biggest advocac ool has been providing opportunities for m tudents that extend be ond the classroom. CONTINUED ON PAGE 45. Left: Tiffa eltz wears a cape and tutu during an art-related dress-up da . Right: Tiffa nd her student Ka lie Church at the 2017 Regional Youth Art Month Reception in West Salem, Wisconsin. 14 SEPTEMBER 2017 SchoolArts

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