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Ohio Art Education Association Conference Report

Jennifer Jervis, senior art education major from Bellefontaine, Ohio

This was a really awesome conference to be able to be able to go to. The first segment I went to was the Student Teacher segment. The two “newbie” teachers talked about a book that they found useful during their student teaching experience. It was titled “Steal Like and Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative,” by  Austin Kleon.

One section of the book was about ‘productive procrastination,’ which they went on to explain. They talked about always being productive, no matter what. Start a project, stop when you get stuck, move on to another project, and come back to it when you have a fresh mind. You need to give yourself time for your creative brain to come up with a solution.

Another section they discussed was ‘steal like an artist.’ This was about creative plagiarism and how as artists today, we feel pressures to be original and innovative. They pointed out that realistically, when you look back through art history, everything had been ‘stolen’ as inspiration and improved upon to make something new. As teachers, there is a huge database of projects and lesson plans that have been done before. They also pointed out that it’s okay to ‘steal’ them in your classroom because every teacher is different, and no two lessons will be exactly the same, just as there is no such thing as a perfect copy. When you do ‘steal’ another teachers’ lesson, you will need to modify and adapt the lesson to your own teaching style, and putting your own creative spin on it.

They moved on to discuss important things to remember while student teaching, such as:

• Have a sense of humor
• Willingness to look stupid
• Be nice, being a good teacher is also about creating relationships with other faculty, it’s all about who you know.
• Keep a praise file- for those days when you need to remember when you did something you have done right!
• Know the “Buzzwords” (teacher language) when writing your student teacher reflections.
• Teach the child, not the subject
• Give the students what they need, not what they want
• Be a TArtist (teacher/artist) because we all chose to be Art Educators because we love art and love making art! Keep making you own art!
• Say Yes! Accept every opportunity, you never know what it will lead to.

They finished off their presentation talking about Olivia Gude, their art education guru. Also, they pointed out a reading on the web that we should all look into, “Student Teaching Survival Guide, School Arts.” After this session, Hannah, my Mom and I went down to grab some goodies, and got several lesson plan examples.  One station that I found interesting was promoting Leather products for student projects. I think it would be quite expensive, supply-wise, but they showed some examples of how you can mold the leather using only water, and can decorate the skin of the leather using sharpie markers. This might be interesting to try, at least once. My mom flipped out over the needle-felting station, and spent about $80 on supplies to make at home. This is an interesting artform, but I think this would be difficult and dangerous to do with young children, the needles have tiny hooks on them. This might be neat to do with a small group of high school students or college level.  I was really excited that I won a poster during lunch. I think that I could use this print to do paint (straw) blowing in elementary to make the branches, and introduce sumi-e in the high school level.

After lunch, we went to the Copper Moon Glass Fusion Studio. This was really awesome! I made a wall clock and night light for Zoe’s room. They demonstrated how to cut the glass, layer them, showed several examples of past projects. They also showed how they fire the glass. Several art teachers said that they use glass fusion in their classrooms (those who have kilns in their room.) If I am lucky enough to have a kiln in my school, I would LOVE to do a project with glass fusion!  Overall, a fantastic day! Thank you for the opportunity!