The “Normal” Art Classroom
What is “normal” in the art classroom anymore? And should we go back to teaching art exactly the way we were before?
The pandemic may have forced a lot of pedagogical changes, but I’m hoping a few of them will outlast the virus. As I think about my various online teaching experiences over the past few years, I realize that I want some of these changes to stick around.
For example, when my beloved nephew landed in the hospital recently, we did a mini art class together online. It would have never occurred to me to try to help in this way before the pandemic, but now I (and most teachers I know) feel way more confident teaching art online.
There are many valid reasons why students cannot physically attend a classroom, and the option for remote learning provides access to these students. I hope to be able to use these new online teaching tools well into the future to help students who may not be able to attend my classes in-person.
Another change spurred on by the pandemic is the pure amount of content art teachers have produced as they transitioned their lessons to be online-friendly.
There are so many new wonderful lesson plans, tutorials, videos, and other resources proliferating online in this moment, and I am sure I am not the only art teacher feeling grateful for this shared knowledge.
And of course, the change I’m most proud of is SAA’s new MA program in Studio Arts in partnership with the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. What was initially intended to be an in-person only program now has both remote and in-person options. This allows us to meet the needs of art teachers across the globe looking for their Master’s degree (and that pay bump!).
This accredited MA program is taught in the summers so that art teachers have no year-round obligations. In just three summers, art teachers can earn their MA in Studio Arts.