Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fund for Teachers Fellowship

I am getting super excited to embark on my fellowship to New Mexico.  I am leaving in just 4 days, so check back here over the next few weeks for updates, pictures, and inspirations I plan to bring back to my students!  Fund for Teachers graciously awards learning fellowships to teachers across the county to pursue professional development; encouraging better teaching practices through more engaging lessons for students.  This year they awarded over 500 teachers across the U.S.  I was amazed at some of the other fantastic projects other Fund for Teachers fellows are working on this summer.  You can read a complete list of the awarded fellowships here.

You can also check out the Fund for Teachers facebook page, tumblr, and twitter to keep up with the other teachers and the progress of their learning fellowships as they take place this summer!

The proposed fellowship includes arriving in New Mexico on July 2nd and departing on July 24th. The organized professional development will take place in Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque and surrounding areas in New Mexico. Upon arrival in New Mexico, I will rent a car and explore art resources in the immediate Santa Fe area (including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, SITE contemporary art center, Star Axis, and Canyon Road Galleries).  Then, I plan to participate CRIZMAC's planned summer programs that celebrate the art and culture of the Southwest. The summer programs I will be participating in include "Celebration of the Pueblo Indian art and Culture" and "Folk Art Extravaganza." This will last two weeks.  The key activities I will be pursuing include discussions by guest artists from the Taos Pueblo, lecture by a Native American scholar, visits to local art museums and galleries, hands on studio art activities, a trip to the home of a Pueblo jeweler, a visit to the International Folk Art Market showcasing 170 artists from 52 countries, planned art activities than can be used to teach students, and more. This is important so that I can strengthen my teaching practices and become a learner myself. Being exposed to actual artists, scholars, and fellow art educators will allow me to practically fulfill my research and answer the questions I have.  After the conclusion of the two week seminar hosted by CRIZMAC, I will again embark on my own.  I will travel, by car, through Albuquerque, Taos, and surrounding areas to explore more art and culture.  Some examples of places I plan to visit and learn more about include:  the Lightning Field installation by Walter de Maria, petro glyphs at a National Park, ACOMA Sky Pueblo, the “Highroad” to Taos to see wood carvers at work and Bandelier National Monument. I will document my personal journey with photographs to share with my students during the upcoming school year.  This will in turn motivate and inspire me to apply the techniques upon arrival back to my school. The hands on art activities will provide me the opportunity to foresee potential obstacles my elementary aged students might have during the art lesson. Since I will be surrounded by artists, scholars, and fellow art educators I can use their expertise to help me find solutions for these obstacles. My experiences will result in the creation of unique art lessons for my students that will allow them to make valid connections between the Native American and folk art of our region with that of the Southwest and abroad. It will also provide them with more engaging lessons that employ a variety of techniques, materials, and cultural stimulation.  The fellowship will culminate in a school-wide festival highlighting the Southwest.  I will collaborate with fellow teachers from school to create cross content connections.

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