Professional Development in the Arts Offers Teachers New Skills
Each year ArtSpace Charter School schedules early release days as a part of the school calendar. When the students go home the teachers stay to plan, meet with other teachers, and most often to attend professional development workshops to learn more about effective teaching. In December teachers chose to attend one of two arts workshops offered by teaching peers at ArtSpace. Teachers either attended a printmaking workshop or a music and dance language workshop.
The intention of these workshops was to give the general education teachers more tools to integrate the arts in their own classrooms, creating more opportunities for two-way integration. Two-way integration means arts objectives and “academic” objectives from the NC Essential Standards and/or the Common Core, are taught in conjunction with each other. Two-way integration is a consistent goal at ArtSpace and other A+ Schools who seek to use arts integration as a philosophical approach to educating children.
Kindergarten teacher Andrea Giglitto and third grade teacher Melissa Redden were two of the printmaking workshop facilitators. These teachers received a scholarship to attend a week long retreat hosted by the Nature Printing Society at Wild Acres in Little Switzerland, NC earlier this school year. It is a common occurrence for teachers at ArtSpace to teach workshops after returning from a professional development opportunity off campus. Teachers and administrators at the school are always seeking new and interesting arts integration trainings that can be shared with the entire community upon their return. Ms. Melissa and Ms. Andrea rotated staff through a fish printing class and a basic brayer class, while ArtSpace parent and Nature Printing Society Education Coordinator, Bridget Benton, taught staff how to use a pasta machine as a printing press with watercolors. In Bridget’s class, participants also were exposed to ecodying with a rice steamer over the course of the afternoon.
Music and Dance Specialists Meg Boerner and Rebecca Triplett shared samples of music and dance recordings to illustrate vocabulary important to dance and music creation and performance. Teachers who attended this workshop can use this information when assessing students in projects using dance to demonstrate knowledge of a unit. Middle school science teachers Nick
Rogowski and Lyn VanOver are happy to have vocabulary to use with the kids as they create movement or dance pieces in their classroom. Middle school language arts teacher Leila Wheless is eager to use the terminology in conjunction with the writing process.
Kindergarten teacher Rebekah Walker was very excited to attend the printmaking workshop. She employed some of the techniques she learned with her kindergartners just days later. She is also looking forward to employing Gyotaku (fish) printing to compare and contrast characteristics of animals which is a large part of the kindergarten science curriculum.