Don’t forget to look back before moving forward.
Sometimes we forget to reflect back on our topics, hosts and chatting together so as the new school year approaches, we thought it would be a great time to look back at the learning we’ve done together in 2017. Four chats a month over eight months, 32 or so opportunities to learn and grow with peers; this digital tribe continues to amaze.
Someone just today asked me “how can you possibly do meaningful Q&A discussions in only 140 characters?” My response was in two parts: 1) it helps to see it in a stream (aka transcript); and 2) you just have to try it (even if that means just watching from the sidelines the first few times). And here’s a fun fact: we transcript every #K12ArtChat using participate.com so that you can always go back and take a look at what was discussed.
For those of you that utilize social media for professional learning, you know that reflection is key for growth and we must look back with open eyes and hearts. Consider the following:
- The tremendous chat hosts, bloggers, things you’ve pinned and people who inspire you. Go back to them when you need a motivational life or idea jumpstart!
- Your own practice! What worked, what didn’t, how will you reflect on it and move forward? What methods do you use for reflection? Do you keep a hashtag of classroom or school activities that you can archive and review?
- Do you keep a planner, journal or classroom blog that you re-read from time to time?
- Have you tried using a swivel to record yourself in action, facilitating a new lesson then watched it with a colleague to critique and improve? It’s not a coincidence that doctors practice medicine, it’s process of continual improvement not unlike being an educator.
We must continually reflect on our own educational practice.
For us we’ve considered what questions to ask ourselves that help us focus towards a specific improvement goal. In the capacity of K12ArtChat facilitators we wonder how can we continue to improve and serve our community. One way we think we can take it step further is leverage Particpate.com as a tool for curation of resources and further collaboration (example #K12ArtChat Resources). We also found we had a lot of fun when you tweeted the questions and we had a live interview/discussion with a special guest. Here are two recent links: ISTE Recap with Tim Needles and Award Winning Author/Illustrator Dan Santat .
Our partnership with Arlene Shelton the creator of #K12ArtChallenge continues to be an ongoing stream of inspiration for us and we hope for you too. When you find yourself in a stale place, find it again by trying something new and different.
Through the #31nights Challenge.
Maybe your life requires something a bit faster, you might have tried the 15 second drawing challenge by Arlene Shelton. If digital was more of your thing and the 15 second challenge was too slow for you, maybe you tried the 1 second video everyday challenge. Take a very detailed look at the things happening in your life, but only record one second of that moment.
The August #K12ArtChallenge is #Reflect31 to get into the back to school mindset. This year’s #Reflect31 comes from members of the K12ArtChat PLN, meaning that these are real reflection questions from real educators. Each day there is an inspirational quote, a reflection question and a video from the PLN member posing the question. The idea is to start the school year with reflection in order to develop a clear and positive direction for the 2017-2018 school start.
We challenge you to spend 31 days and reflect on your teaching practice and consider how to continue reflecting throughout the school year. The 31 day reflection challenge is all about you, your instructional practices, pedagogy and students, and you can choose to share via #K12ArtChallenge & #Reflect31 or keep it to yourself. There is no right or wrong, just enjoy the reflection process in preparation for an amazing school year ahead!
Thank you for always learning and growing together. We are committed to being a source of support and community for our tribe.
Wishing you creativity,
Laura and Matt Grundler
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.