what I did on my summer vacation...

I was accepted into the Art21 Educators Program and spent 10 days in New York during the month of July. It was the most challenging, inspiring, and wonderful educational experience I have ever had! I didn't just come away with some new tips and tricks, I know I've experienced some growing pains in being challenged with new ways of thinking, and I have come back a better teacher.

Here is a little photo tour of my time there!

Here I am with Linda at the Met! I am so glad I talked Linda into applying with me for this program. She is one of the most talented AMAZING teachers I have ever met and it was such an honor to get to experience this all with her.

This is me out of my comfort zone at the TASK Party. We got to meet Oliver Herring on the very first day- what a treat! He was so warm and generous and the TASK party was a great way to build our sense of trust and community.

I had written this TASK and was so delighted when someone else had implemented it so beautifully: Find discarded scraps to create something new.

I have often felt very alone in my profession as the only art teacher at my school so I am especially thankful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with this group of passionate educators. It felt like stepping from a drought into a monsoon- we talked about art/education every waking moment!

We met with the artist Charles Atlas to talk about his work here.

Lots of brainstorming, discussing, collaborating, editing, thinking, writing, questioning, and coffee.

We got to spend the day at MoMA! Here we are practicing one of the ways to facilitate a discussion about art with students. We got to meet Allan McCollum to talk about his art here. We also talked with Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley from Rome via Skype and visited the studio of Diana Al Hadid on different days.

We are all looking rather serious here but had a blast seeing artist examples and making paper at Dieu Donne!

We worked hard! Linda and I worked until 2am many nights and then got up early to start the next workshop day. More coffee.

It wasn't all work and no play! We had the perfect balcony view to see the 4th of July fireworks over the Hudson River. Spectacular!

And the food!

Here we are on our last night dining together. Our group of 16 was comprised of first year teachers and veterans, elementary, high school, and college teachers, and art, spanish, science, and english teachers. It was great to have so many perspectives and experiences. I wish I could have packed them all up to take back with me to my school! Fortunately our time together will continue via online meetings and ning network this year.

I look forward to sharing what I have learned here and can't wait for the new school year. Bring it on!