NAEA National Art Convention 2013

12 03 2013

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This was the first National Art Convention I attended in many years so returning was different from what I remembered. I did feel myself being pulled to nostalgia when thinking on the length of my teaching career and the people who influenced my career. I was lucky to have a tough demanding well educated art education professor. I recall the first time I entered the classroom and met her. I was so intimidated by her appearance and I could tell by the room she was a collector of information. Books lined the room from all sides and table tops often had art history books and art supplies scattered around. Dr. Ernella Hunziker was my professor from UW-Whitewater in Wisconsin. She was one of the few females in the field at the time and she had high expectations. We wrote lessons to be reviewed and this was before computers so you spent hours in her classroom or in the library researching for the lessons you planned. I was trained in the disciplined based art education philosophy.

I learned and strived to make her proud of the lessons I wrote. I also wanted to gain her seal of approval on the quality of the lessons and how I presented it to my students. After a day of observations we would sit down and Dr. Hunziker broke down everything…I mean everything. She kept track of how many boys vs. girls I called on, how long I took for my presentation, class studio time, and method of clean up instruction, etc. When she gave you criticism, it was backed up with good advice to fix the problem areas. Dr. Ernella Hunziker retired the year after I graduated and soon passed away from muscular dystrophy. I miss her advice and wish I still had her guidance on my career. I give all of my success as a teacher to her. I know I made her proud.

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Now – after all this rambling… this was my thoughts as I roamed the convention center locating the different lectures I wanted to hear. I felt her with me. I found some lectures and discussions stimulating and some inspiring. I loved seeing new ideas and exciting methods. I felt validated as an art educator and the responsibility to serve our students and to hold up a light for the creative students who often get lost. After the general session on Sunday, which was presented by the Scholastics program, I was again reminded of the power of being that one person who can truly “see” you. I know Dr. Ernella Hunziker could truly “see” me and she could see what I could do for art education. Thank you to all of you who “see” your artists and help nurture the spirit to become positive contributors in the world.

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Thank you to everyone who reaches out over the internet and twitter to help ensure we keep doing the best job we can. I will forever be learning and forever striving to live up to the responsibilities to prepare artists for the future even when we are not really sure what that will be.




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