When reflecting on the people I met and things I learned, I keep thinking back to how the day started. Andy Losik gave a fun opening to the conference with his keynote on "making your teaching an excellent adventure and not a bogus journey." Even though I think I am more a child of the 90s, having two sisters 7 and 10 years older than me fostered an appreciation and understanding of all things 80s. I easily understood the references made throughout his talk. I am also a huge movie junkie, so that helped, too.
One of the movies referenced in his keynote that I always make sure to stop on when flipping through the channels is The Breakfast Club. During Andy's presentation, he talked about the choices and actions we make and take as educators. He went through his own teaching journey and the moment he realized that we can totally create and nurture an environment that reaches students where they are, instead of forcing them to be versions of ourselves.
The following image was used in his keynote to discuss students, but as I have been reflecting over the past few days, I think it has a broader use.
My subject area is a casualty of this all of the time. I get strange questions from teachers in other content areas wondering if we have Standards. Yes, the Arts do and they are being rewritten with a role out this summer. Wha??? I know!
One emphasis in Arts education is showing the overlap of other content through creating. performing, presenting, and responding in the Arts. Life doesn't happen in isolation and I think the Arts make it a point to highlight that. When I am making Art, I am not just thinking about the object being sculpted or image being drawn so I can make it "pretty." I am thinking about how it is going to make sense in the world and what purpose it serves myself or others. I might be creating for a personal outlet or to send a larger message, but I am using all of the skills and ideas learned from all areas of my life to do so. I try to do the same overlap when I am designing lessons or selecting works or artists to present to my students. I want them to understand that creating and working through ideas can be messy. It is not as easy as just sticking a label on it and calling it done.
I wonder what other subject areas are struggling through misconceptions of what they teach. Are they a victim to a label on a schedule and preconceived notions of what others think? If your subject area was a character from The Breakfast Club, which would it be based on how others view it? What can we do as teachers to demonstrate that it is more complex than that?