Advocacy Begins at Home
In the March issue of SchoolArts, "Art Education and the Professional Learning Community (PDF)" details the efforts made in my school district by our 20 elementary art teachers to form a PLC to help each other and to demonstrate to our administrators, fellow teachers, and students the value of art education.
One suggestion that arose from the PLC was that we share our efforts at a monthly meeting of the elementary principals. As far as we know, this had never happened before but we were happy to have the opportunity. Two of us represented the art teachers at the principals' meeting. We brought a dog and pony show: we displayed student artwork and large art reproductions, gave an overview of elementary art education and national and state standards, showed several interdisciplinary Animoto videos of student artwork, reviewed the updated version of Bloom's Taxonomy, and demonstrated several higher level thinking art activities (we weren't about to waste a minute of this opportunity!).
We were very gratified with the principals' response, both during and after the meeting and wished we had thought of this sooner.
As a result of this presentation, we were invited back and today repeated our presentation, this time to an interdisciplinary group of district administrators. Because we included Animoto videos and a Voicethread project, we have now been asked to present again, this time at district technology training.
Now, you may not want to go on the road with your own dog and pony show, but I offer this example to demonstrate that many wonderful things can happen just by asking for them. So start asking.