ArtsEdLab 2018-02-01T04:39:12+00:00



Each day, we have the honor of teaching multiple student populations. ELL,
Gifted and Talented and Special Education students all bring different joys and challenges to our classrooms.

In this issue, we’re highlighting tips, strategies and resources to integrate the arts with these students.



This issue holds a special place in my heart.  When we think about “special populations” in teaching, many people immediately think of special education.  And while this is definitely one group, there are other special populations to consider.  English Language Learners, Gifted and Talented and Economically Disadvantaged students are also part of our wonderful classroom fabric.

My own daughter has been classified as “gifted and talented” – whatever that truly means.  What I know to be true is that she is a sponge – she absorbs everything.  But when her school told us they couldn’t provide services for her due to budget cuts, my husband and I were cut to the quick.  We felt as though we couldn’t complain – the budget was being spent on servicing the growing ELL and special education populations in our district.  But at the same time, no one was considering that our daughter is also a special population.

I have found that this subject can be divisive and difficult to talk about.  But it’s so important that we bravely forge ahead in the conversations anyway.  Another member of our EdCloset team has a child with special needs.  We constantly have discussions about the challenges and joys both of our children face each day.  And both of our kids have found a place in the arts.

That’s what’s so incredible about the arts and integrating them whenever possible.  It opens doors and opportunities for students of all backgrounds and needs.  So in this issue, we’re opening up the discussion.  I hope you’ll join in whenever something you view or read strikes a chord.  Because we are better together.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our yearly enrollment to the Arts Integration Certification Program is opening this month.  Be sure to apply if this is a goal of yours for the year ahead.  We only accept 100 applicants and enrollment is only open for 3 weeks.  We’d love to see you join us!

All my best,

Susan Riley, Founder of

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