About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This years' theme: Making Connections

This school year I am determined to demonstrate to the kids and fellow teachers all the ways art connects to the world around us. But then, in true fashion, I have taken it to the next level.

This is timely, as we now have 3 STEAM Labs (holy moley!) and I need to be a eating, breathing example of STEAM (uh... that would be Science, Tech, Engineering, Art and Math...). The beautiful thing about STEAM is that we art teachers ARE DOING THIS ALREADY!

There are so many lesson plans and philosophies out there about how and why we should make these connections and integrate. For me, it is a no brainer to connect art and science, or art and history, or art and math, or art and reading. I believe all great art teachers do this, in their own way. It's what we do!

Really, now it's all about promoting and modeling what we do, every day.

We connect our art techniques and lessons to the world around us.

We connect with our kids, as we see them daily, weekly, monthly, and over the course of years.

We connect with our school families through newsletters, social media, and by guiding their kids to find ways to express their souls.

We connect with our community by showcasing student work. 

Ok, this picture has very little to do with my rant. But check it out: The kiddoes are making their end of year portfolios. And I let them bring in headphones, big trust step for me. It was so peaceful.

Making connections is not limited to my classroom. I am going to be an ambassador! HA! Here are some ways:

I am connecting with my fellow art teachers by serving on our districts' Art Advocacy Commitee, and now I am sending out monthly newsletters to help (hopefully) connect and support our diverse staff. Our district has grown large over the past years and most art teachers do not know each other. It takes very little time to send a newsletter out.

I am connecting with my staff by starting up a Social Committee.  I snagged the fresh, new teachers who have tons of energy and great ideas. We are working on building relationships across all grade levels. 

We are hosting:
    • monthly lunchtime potlucks (because who can say no to that? Not my school!)
    • Happy hours (you can call them whatever you want...)
    • after school activities like hobby night (hosted by anyone who has a hobby to share, this month is mesh wreath making and this faculty is PUMPED)
    • Movie nights and dinners (because, let's face it. After you've been married for a while, your spouse does not seem to want to do these things??? Or is it just me?)
    • team building activities during professional development days (like Mission Impossible!)

OH YEAH. We BOMBED a chair. Because it needed it. And it is awesome.

 What does this have to do with being the only art teacher in an elementary school? Everything. When you are part of a faculty, you are part of a special family. We all need to do our small part to make our schools positive, healthy and happy workplaces. Being an art teacher does not mean you should live in your room, isolated. So many of us do.

Look, believe it or not: I am shy, I have a family, and I am busy (who isn't???) It was hard for me to present these ideas to my faculty at the last faculty meeting. We all need help! I got lots of help. There are teachers who WANTED to do this with me! Cool!

Oh, and I started the potlucks BECAUSE I LIKE COCKTAIL WEENIES. There, I said it. 


Look! I meant it. We just had an afterschool mesh wreath-a-thon. For the good of my faculty, I conformed to the masses and created a mesh wreath. (It looks like something out of Bettlejuice, but I did it.) We had fun! And then we went to happy hour.

Christmas wreaths, ok they are really pretty.

Coach Eby being all crafty.
We even had teacher kids helping out.
Mrs. Norine with her sassy Halloween wreath. 


  1. Good for you! I agree, all this integration is just business as usual in the art room - we just have to advertise it more. I always bring the meatballs to our functions, so you and I would get along just fine I think. ;)