As a Kenan Fellow, my internship experience is just one component of the overall potential end result. It’s a huge component however, because ultimately it is the spark necessary to fuel or inspire my product. So just what is the “product?” Well, I have asked myself that question over and over since our week-long PD at NCCAT (North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teachers). Basically, each Kenan Fellow is tasked with creating authentic instructional resources for our students that will be shared with other educators in our school, district, and state.
I have had no shortage of ideas. In fact, as an art educator, I could probably generate a never ending list of possible products. What I have found most challenging however, is the narrowing down and refinement. It seems that just when I think I know what I want to do, I second guess myself and rethink things. While at NCCAT I began my brainstorm list. Needless to say, I’ve added and deleted ideas, but have finally narrowed things down to three potential products. There is one that I definitely want to do for my school in particular and one that would reach the school as a whole, as well as the district and potentially beyond.
This is definitely the more rewarding part of the process. I feel like have an infinite amount of resources at my fingertips. Everyone I have met thus far has been amazing and has extended an offer to help in any way possible. I’ve also been linked to some potentially amazing opportunities as well. In terms of the two components of my product, the first component, which is the one I want to begin at my school, is to create a visiting artist speaker’s network of sorts. Specifically I am interested bringing in non-conventional artists who tie directly into STEM fields. It would be great to have artists that use technology (new media designers), math (op art), and science (assemblage, recyclables) to come in and talk to students on how they were inspired to do what they do. This will allow those creative young people like me to have a glimpse into future possibilities that they currently have no idea of. The component I envision for the district and beyond, is to design and produce a STEAM based role playing game for elementary classroom teachers.I think both parts would yield a necessary additional piece to STEM focused learning.
Other than that, I’m also excited about being a presenter at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Professional Learning Symposium for the Visual Arts STEAM inservice on August 20. Hopefully it will be an excellent opportunity to be able to speak with other art educators and gain more insight and ideas from them.