You know it's been crazy 'round here! I'm in my first year of teaching in a public school and my focus has been embracing my first year of teaching and learning as much as I can about my job. That means saying "NO" and not overextending myself (because I have four kids as well, so I'm pretty much overextended at the get go). Saying "no" is hard for me--I'm THAT person. You know, they one who steps up and does the thing that needs doing, brings the snacks, starts the committee, etc. But not this year (Um, and it is killing me a bit, but it is also nice to focus on my work and kiddos and hubby). SO if you are wondering why the blog is sssssllllllooowww to be updated, that's why. There's only 24 hours in a day people. :-)
HOWEVER, one commitment I did say "yes" to last year, was being the newsletter editor for our state's chapter of the National Art Educators' Association. The New Hampshire Art Educators' Association (NHAEA) publishes a paper newsletter three times a year and as editor, I am responsible for that and attending board meetings monthly. As a graphic designer and blogger, I have always felt that communication is key to a thriving group and since the art teachers of the NHAEA are spread out all over NH, the newsletters help to strengthen our community of educators and help us to learn from one another.
HOW THIS HAS HELPED ME: I'm not going to lie, being involved with the NHAEA has been a bonus for me as well. I started going to NHAEA events while I was a grad student and was able to:
- Meet lots of art educators--hey, we don't get out much and sometimes we are the only art teacher in our school--it's nice to connect with others like us!
- Get LOTS of ideas that I incorporated into my studies and my after-school and substitute teaching gigs and now into my own lessons in middle school
- Network and hear about long-term substitute teaching positions and more permanent art education positions
- Get support when I was worried I wouldn't find a job
- Find friends to travel with when I went to my first national conference
- Meet one of my student teaching mentors through the organization
I decided to step up and become the newsletter editor because the position was open (the former editor was looking to move on to bigger and better things) and I had a background in graphic design. I LOVE graphic design--it is my art--the way I express myself. I thought three newsletters per year would be a doable commitment for me and it actually isn't that bad--the deadlines are far less strict than the graphic design world. And....I love it. I miss doing design work and laying out the newsletters is actually fun for me. The NHAEA newsletters aren't going to win any design awards but I try not to stress over the minutia and have fun.
I've attached the newest newsletter for you to check out. It's the smallest issue of the year, but it's still got some great stuff in there--there is a lesson on Mixed Media Idioms by our NH Art Educator of the Year, Mary Ann Lessard and you can see what the NHAEA is up to.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to get involved with your local chapter of the NAEA. It's good for you and good for them (the organization) and for your students!