You might wonder why a retired art teacher would go to a WAEA Fall Conference when there are so many other things to do...
· to see the student teachers you have mentored, excited about teaching and students
· to share your ideas and thoughts about a continuing passion: teaching and making art
· to help your art association through service and sharing
· to learn more about what is going on in art and art education
· to meet up with other retired members
· to be inspired in your own art making, through artist talks, new materials, seeing art, visiting museums and galleries, visiting artist’s studios
· to contribute
· to participate by entering the WAEA exhibit or conducting a session, just to name a few reasons.
The fall conference in Milwaukee was exceptional. Being in the Bruce Guadelupe Middle School, surrounded by the evidence of an excellent art program was exciting and inspiring. I attended several exceptional sessions, including the two, featured speakers and their passionate keynotes. I walked a long way to visit Reginald Baylor’s studio, which was informative and inspiring. Mr. Baylor was unbelievably generous with his time and explanations…I am so glad I made the effort to get to his studio!
Another highlight was a session with Barb Reinke, the Crayola Representative. Not only was the session informative, but it was an example of an excellent lesson plan that included providing information, allowing students to reflect and respond, having students share with each other, allowing for experimentation and providing for student choice in an artmaking experience. PLUS, getting the students to think of totally applicable ways of incorporating literacy into the art class! Wow!
I attended a session on STEAM with Debra West from Tomah that was also exciting and informative. In addition, I assisted in a Higher Ed session on the EdTPA, which allowed me to share and learn in a stimulating environment. I also assisted Christine Yocca with a session on using the Gelli Plate, a relatively new printmaking method. Was that ever fun! Christine had everything well organized and planned and the students were so excited and cooperative. I have been to many fall conferences…and this was as inspiring and fun as any of them!