Transitioning Summer PD into Student Growth

By | 2017-12-11T18:51:02+00:00 August 4th, 2016|

Having a robust professional learning network has lead us to find so many new professional development opportunities.  Matt and I attended iPadpalooza in Austin this June and while we had tremendous learning and inspiration it begs us to ask our PLN a question:

How are we going to transfer these summer professional development take-aways into opportunities for students to grow?

summer professional development

Summer isn’t over yet but it’s time you begin to reflect on summer professional learning and how you will implement your learning. For your benefit, we have interviewed a few people from our PLN for their perspectives.

Joy Schultz @joycschultz  Arkansas

  • What professional development workshops, presentations or conferences did you attend and why?  I attended ISTE2016, EdCloset’s online STEAM & Arts Integration Summer Conference, and I am currently reading Invent to Learn by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager Ph.D.  I attend the summer PD because I am always looking for ways to improve and expand what I am doing in the studio with my students.  I am a lifetime learner.
  • What experiences from those opportunities do you feel will stick with you or got you excited about the upcoming school year?  I loved ISTE.  It was intense but I want to go back again.  I am excited to continue my choice based studio with new engineering and electronics to explore.
  • Share a presenter or facilitator that you made sure to follow on twitter immediately.  I would follow @chibitronics. Love Jie Qi  – she is intelligent, creative, and engaging.
  • Share a take away the you will be implementing in your classroom or instructional practice this school year.  Easy – Love the invention created by Jie Qi (the circuit stickers).
  • Did you present or share your learning this summer and did you learn from the experience of being a presenter? I presented for EdCloset and this is my second time around.  I feel more confident in my presentation skills and I am doing a better job of collecting my data and research during my time with my students while it is happening.
  • Share a statement about why you feel it’s important to learn during the summer. It’s the time to relax, create art, stretch & learn, dream of ideas to implement.  I just need time and inspirational experiences.
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about summer professional learning? I enjoy having time to achieve artistic goals for myself.  This year I created a few series (Yupo acrylic ink paintings, acrylic canvas paintings, and some vintage children’s book collages). I reached my goal of registering with our Arkansas Artist Registry and I am competing in a few upcoming art competitions.  I also have two new art teachers who joined me in an art teacher gallery show to open the new school year.  That is a motivator for me to create my own art and I loved it.  It’s great to have other art educators supporting the artist as well as the art educator side.  We all plan on having a gallery show outside of our school too so we keep on creating all school year.  It’s great for our students to see that we practice what we preach.

Rich Stachon @rstachon  Illinois

  • What professional development workshops, presentations or conferences did you attend and why? I attended the Connectivity Arts Integration & STEAM Online Conference, and the Leyden 2016 Innovative Teaching & Learning Symposium
  • What experiences from those opportunities do you feel will stick with you or got you excited about the upcoming school year? I’m excited to explore the world of VR with my students. I was inspired to keep my art room open during my lunch for students to have free studio time.
  • Share a presenter or facilitator that you made sure to follow on twitter immediately. @DesignMakeTeach (Josh Ajima) and @CorinneTakara (Corinne O Takara). Both of these educators have great insight and resources to share.
  • Share a take away the you will be implementing in your classroom or instructional practice this school year. This year I will be focusing on incorporating more STEAM based themes into my studio.
  • Did you present or share your learning this summer and did you learn from the experience of being a presenter? I presented at both the Connectivity Arts Integration & STEAM Online Conference, and the Leyden 2016 Innovative Teaching & Learning Symposium. Through experience I gain both comfort and confidence. The more and more I present and share my knowledge the better I get. Preparing for a presentation is a great for reflecting on your practice. Through this kind of reflection I can reexamine what I think I know.
  • Share a statement about why you feel it’s important to learn during the summer. As an educator I feel that I must continue to grow and learn in order to stay relevant. There is no better time than summer to do this.
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about summer professional learning? Summer learning not only benefits you the educator, but positively impacts both fellow colleagues and students. Don’t forget to share what you have learned over the summer.

Wynita Harmon @Huffman_Art Texas

  • What professional development workshops, presentations or conferences did you attend and why? This summer I attended and presented at Education Closet’s STEAM based Art integration conference this summer.  It was a great opportunity to enhance my knowledge on STEAM based lessons as well as learn from other teachers around the world.  It was inspiring and informative.  
  • What experiences from those opportunities do you feel will stick with you or got you excited about the upcoming school year? I was able to view information on several new supplies, teaching practices and learn about new technology apps and websites that will benefit my students.  It is always refreshing to come back to the school year with new ideas that I can use in my art studio.
  • Share a presenter or facilitator that you made sure to follow on twitter immediately. @smARTisteacher is a positive teacher that provides lots of inspiration especially with her K12artchallenge’s to keep us being creative and thinking!
  • Share a take away the you will be implementing in your classroom or instructional practice this school year. Choice-Based art studios were a huge hit in the conference and learning more about the importance of Voice and Choice in the art studio.  It has several benefits to student growth.  Loved the idea of using circuit stickers, creating a musical makerspace, etc to help expand cross-curricular learning in the art studio.
  • Did you present or share your learning this summer and did you learn from the experience of being a presenter?  I presented at Education Closet’s Arts Integration and STEAM conference, “Creating the Ultimate Steam Lab”, for stations in class, curriculum nights or open house.  I learned from my experience and gained presentation and planning skills as well as how to use iMovie effectively since this was an online conference.  It was great to share out and inspire others.  I loved the feedback and was glad to know that I can help others by sharing my experiences and practices.
  • Share a statement about why you feel it’s important to learn during the summer.  It is important to learn during the summer in order to maintain a growth mindset that allows for one to maintain excellence, bring fresh ideas to the table and be the best educator you can be for your students.
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about summer professional learning? Summer PD is amazing because you are more refreshed and have more time to take in the new information as well as experiment with new ideas, lessons and resources.  Summer is a time for relaxation and rejuvenation so what better a time to be involved in creating and learning more about your passion. It also allows for personal growth and allows you to share out with your fellow colleagues!

Alice Gentili @MonaLisaLvsHeah Massachusetts

  • What professional development workshops, presentations or conferences did you attend and why? I attended ISTE2016 in Denver during the last week of June. I wanted to go to this conference to learn more about technology in the art classroom and MakerSpaces. I also attended EdTechTeacher’s Design Thinking and Maker Education workshop with Greg Kulowiec on July 14&15 and am taking Thinking and Learning in a Maker Centered Classroom from May to September through Harvard Graduate School of Education and Project Zero Classroom’s affiliate, Agency By Design. I am interested in MakerSpaces and believe that artists were the first Makers, and art education is largely already a MakerSpace employing project based learning techniques.
  • What experiences from those opportunities do you feel will stick with you or got you excited about the upcoming school year? Oh boy! So many things were presented at ISTE – there were 16,000 attendees with fantastic ideas. My focus from this experience is on making the art room more of a MakerSpace through the inclusion of concepts and materials from other discipline areas, especially science and engineering. We use technology a lot already, but I did learn a few new tricks! The MakerSpace experiences are leading me to try to work with colleagues from other discipline areas to collaborate on project based learning units where we each bring something to the table to facilitate guided inquiry with our collective students.
  • Share a presenter or facilitator that you made sure to follow on twitter immediately. @gregkulowiec @AgencybyDesign @ISTEConnects
  • Share a take away the you will be implementing in your classroom or instructional practice this school year. I expect to continue Making Artful Thinking Visible through documentation of the creative learning process using handmade sketchbooks as learning logs for guided inquiry.
  • Did you present or share your learning this summer and did you learn from the experience of being a presenter? I will be presenting at the state art association conference (MAEA), the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit (Boston) and if accepted, NAEA 2017.
  • Share a statement about why you feel it’s important to learn during the summer. There is no other time when we have time away from the classroom to fully immerse ourselves in learning. We can stay up late and get up early, making our own schedules and using our time the way we wish. Rather than dividing our days into 50 minute blocks as our school days are structured (in my school), we can choose to spend an entire morning, afternoon, or evening focused on learning and contemplation without worrying about a schedule.
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about summer professional learning? Along with structured professional development in summer, there are many opportunities to network with other art educators through social media, such as daily challenges like @K12ArtChallenge or weekly chats, such as @K12ArtChat. There is a lot to learn share out there, just do it!  

Rich Czyz @RACzyz  Pennsylvania

  • What professional development workshops, presentations or conferences did you attend and why? This summer, I attended Edcamp Leadership in Philadelphia and EdcampExit8A in New Jersey, as well as PD opportunities centered around 3D Printing and STEAM.
  • What experiences from those opportunities do you feel will stick with you or got you excited about the upcoming school year? My learning this summer has been centered around two themes. One of the areas that we need to focus on is improving school culture and climate. For without a strong, positive culture, it will be hard to push education forward. As we try to push forward, we should consider different approaches than we have previously taken. We must find fresh ways to challenge students.
  • Share a presenter or facilitator that you made sure to follow on twitter immediately.  @alissa_devito Excellent Tech Integration pushing forward with meaningful PD for her colleagues!
  • Share a take away the you will be implementing in your classroom or instructional practice this school year. This year, I want to use visible gestures of recognition for staff and students!
  • Did you present or share your learning this summer and did you learn from the experience of being a presenter? As part of our #TechMexTues sessions this summer, I facilitated learning opportunities using BreakoutEDU, and sharing resources during Appy Hour. I also led a session on Changing PD models at EdcampExit8A. Being a presenter often allows me to begin meaningful discussion by asking important questions. I always try to learn from other people’s insights during my sessions.
  • Share a statement about why you feel it’s important to learn during the summer. The summer provides a less stressful time to explore new ideas, as well as a time to reflect on what went well during the past year, and how to improve during the coming school year. We must always be ON as learners, even during our off-time!
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about summer professional learning? I try to be as reflective and open about my own learning as possible. Check out my website, Four O’Clock Faculty, to find more reflection and resources to help improve learning for yourself and your students!

Matt Grundler @artguy76 Texas

  • What professional development workshops, presentations or conferences did you attend and why? This summer, I attended the iPadpalooza conference in Austin, where I not only grew my PLN by meeting many other educators, but also saw many different ways that they were using technology in their classrooms to help give students a voice to their learning.
  • What experiences from those opportunities do you feel will stick with you or got you excited about the upcoming school year? The biggest take away experience gained from attending the conference is that if you are willing to try something new, the rewards can be great, and if you fall short, re-evaluate and try again.
  • Share a presenter or facilitator that you made sure to follow on twitter immediately.
    One person that I made sure to follow was @AmyBurval. She has such an eloquent way for combining her love for music and the creative process. Through her presentations, she showed how these two topics are not as distant as one might think.  
  • Share a take away the you will be implementing in your classroom or instructional practice this school year. This year my goal is to create a youth film festival made by students, to allow them to showcase their projects and give them an opportunity to discuss the process that went into their projects. Also, my goal is to have a better control over my lesson planning and to be more on top of my classroom organizational habits.
  • Did you present or share your learning this summer and did you learn from the experience of being a presenter?  Yes, Laura and I presented to educators in our district to educators on the many different uses of green screen in a cross-curricularly.  Then we presented at iPadpalooza, a workshop on integrating the use of Minecraft with the concept of Design Thinking.
  • Share a statement about why you feel it’s important to learn during the summer.
    It is so very important to learn over the summer, because it allows you as an educator to stay in touch with the most current skills, and it show the students that you as an educator are willing to learn and so should they.
  • Is there anything else you’d like to share about summer professional learning?  The summer gave me a chance to reflect on my personal teaching goals.  I will continually strive to give students the opportunity to have their own personal voice shine through in their artwork and design strong opportunities for growth.

As we read through the responses from our colleagues, the lists and connections grew for both of us.  New professional development opportunities, new educators to follow and most importantly and variety of perspectives to consider. Our hope is that we have encouraged you to take some quiet time to reflect for yourself and think about the wonderful (and sometimes not wonderful) learning opportunities you had this summer. Consider also how to distill the information in away that allows you to pull from the best and enhance learning for your students.  August is the perfect time to start thinking about the new school year (if you haven’t already started back) and take these precious last days of summer to not only find the quiet but also to start to percolate new ideas.  If you would like a little help, follow #Reflect31 via GrundlerArt.com to get a daily reflective question and inspirational quote created by a wide range of fellow teachers for teachers.

As Always Wishing you Creativity (and at this time of year, a Wonderful School Start!)

Matt and Laura Grundler

About the Author:

Laura and Matt Grundler are art educators from Plano, Texas. They are also proud parents, bloggers and founders of the popular Twitter Chat #K12ArtChat. After teaching middle school art, high school art and working as an assistant principal, Laura has moved into the role of district Visual Arts Coordinator. Matt started out as a graphic designer; however after finding the commercial side of design to be unsatisfying, he soon found his niche as a K-5 Art teacher. Both Laura and Matt are passionate about raising their three creative kids, sharing their love of art education with their professional learning network and continuing to grow everyday.