Congratulations to the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) Teacher of the Year, Suzanne Goulet. At the annual fall conference at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in September Suzanne was recognized in front of her peers and shared the following message with her colleagues and members of the MAEA from across the state.
For more information on MAEA, their awards and other programs please CLICK HERE.
‘I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’ – borrowed from a quote Tom Brady found. (Background discussion on ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), Resiliency, Determination and how Tom Brady never gives up)
A Study of Only – Limitation or Inspiration?
Last winter I was in a very engaged conversation with a colleague about our school culture and proposals for consideration. We had a very stressful year (Starting with the Principal being suspended the first week of school, and ultimately fired…won’t share more at this time….but that was just the beginning of a tumultuous year)
We needed to examine our culture.
Some interesting (and controversial) ideas were being flushed in a personal collegial conversation… then abruptly my colleague, attempting to disqualify my contributions and stake, retorted with, “You’re just an Art Teacher”
Oh….yes…..that’s what was said…….and the engaged conversation ended there….for the moment.
ONLY?……what does that mean……if ONLY we could ONLY be ART Educators
So what does ONLY MEAN?
Self-Assessment: Are You Only An Art Educator? (a physical self-reflective study)
This will be interactive – asking that you please stand, when asked, if any of the following statements describe you (does not have to only relate to teaching).
If you introduced a new word or term to someone’s active vocabulary this week please stand.
If you have ever helped someone develop or refine work habits or best practices please stand.
If you have introduced a form of recreation to someone please stand
If you utilized your Blood Born Pathogens and Bodily Fluids training please stand…
…Remain standing if it was this week
If you have helped someone to be brave, to find courage to make a mistake or fail… and to learn from it please stand.
Stand if you have benefited from a colleague sharing a best practice with you.
You are or have been an active Art leader (Workshop presenter, MALI Teacher Leader, Board, Officer) please stand.
Stand if you made art in the last month before the school year started.
Continue standing if you made art since the school year began
… glean and learn from these people
Stand if you helped someone learn to use scissors safely
If you have created community (met with a colleague from a different school and shared a best practice…online, RSVP ME, in person) please stand.
Stand if you have helped someone with a difficult choice or to identify creative possibilities or solutions.
If you have wondered where or when a student’s next meal or place to sleep will be please stand.
Please let me expand on this one…
If you, at anytime, have, or think you have, saved someone’s life – in addition to rendering first aid… maybe you listened, referred someone to a counselor or medical professional please stand… thank you.
If you have guided someone to express themselves in a non-verbal form please stand. If you have helped someone to visit or experience a college campus please stand.
If you have had an influence on someone’s career or life decision please stand.
If you have helped someone better understand the world around them p lease stand… (Are your legs burning? OK to sit now…)
If ONLY… If ONLY being an Art Teacher means that you are an active, reflective and compassionate educator, Then Bring it on.
‘I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’
The Maine Art Education Association has been a great vehicle for helping me to become an active, reflective and compassionate educator/Art Teacher.
Holly, Jodi, Pam, Sheila, Chris, Jeff, Charlie, Lisa, Maryann, Marilyn, Catherine, Argy, Heidi, Deb, Carolyn, Aimee, Shalimar, Sandy, Nancy, Stephanie, Tim, George, Margaret, and Kay are only a few members and former members that I have to thank for sharing something with me that has advanced my personal profession. There are many, many more, and I apologize for not including the entire list.
As low as last year was (the “Only” conversation did not help), the honor of being nominated by a respected Art Education colleague and then recognized by our Associations highest honor was transforming. The honor only got better. My student, Scott Norman, during the presentation helped us to realize or remember how important… no….how vital, art, art education and art educators can be for our students….and us.
Nominate a peer today. Ask me for help. Deadline is December 31 ….start Monday. Help others to appreciate what it is to be ONLY an “Art Teacher”.
Elections are coming this Spring. We have two year terms. President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership are all positions that we are seeking candidates for. I first became treasurer when I left the room… no joke… and my life has forever been changed since… and so have my students. I am extremely thankful for this.
I am active, reflective and compassionate… I Am Only an Art Educator… We Are Only Art Educators.
‘We Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’
We Have Important Work to continue…