My Summer Professional Development- Self Imposed!

30 06 2013

ImageYes- I purchased REAL Books and I am reading them in between fishing trips, gardening, teaching fashion illustration classes, baking, cooking, painting furniture, and helping the local animal shelter.  My summers are about redoing lessons, finding inspiration, and fueling my passions.


I have four books read already and each one has been helpful in my quest to create Project Based Lessons.  I have to say Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess was my last book to pick up. I am so glad I did.  This book reads like how I think and how my mind creates new lessons.  I am creating ideas while I am doing all the above activities.  Truthfully, my mind never really stops striving to do a better job.  My motivation is an internal drive for self satisfaction not for praise, $, or recognition.  I do it because I do feel dedicated to the groups of students who are in my studio.  I love what I do:  writing/designing lessons, thinking of projects, and creating examples for lessons.  What I do isn’t really work.

One of my favorite parts of the book written by Dave Burgess is when I read the chapter on Passion.  I am a passionate teacher, artist, mother, wife, and art advocate. I cannot separate them.  I then read the next chapter about Immersion and I recognized me.  I am often hard to find in my studio because I am right along side my students. I’m into it!  You can find me dancing, singing, playing, laughing, and learning with my students.  I want them to love what they are doing as much as I do.  Yes- my students think I am “crazy” but they keep coming back!

I love the quote- “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


The list of ideas to craft a lesson was excellent.  I do several on the list but now I am striving to support the ideas more and achieve a few on the list I have not tried.   I have a list of ideas already created and a few lessons to start the year right.


If you are feeling like you need a boost I would assign yourself some good books to help ignite your passion.  Here is the list of books I read so far:

  •  The Passion-Driven Classroom- Maiers and Sandvold
  •  Catching Up or Leading the Way- Zhao
  •  What Great Teachers Do Differently-Whitaker
  •  Teach Like a Pirate- Burgess


Here is a link to another blogger who has identified a few more books to help inspire you too.  Check it out.  


ARRGGGG!  Feeling Like a Pirate Already!


Summer Fashion Design Illustration Class

9 06 2013

Oscar Show

We are having a wonderful time at the Clinton Library exploring our creative ideas in fashion design.  I am so fortunate to have my art students volunteering along my side to help inspire others.  I have one current art student who loves fashion and is so great at communicating to younger artists how to best create original ideas.  I have one alum that is looking to reinvigorate her artistic skills by working with me and our guests.  Today she shined…she created a thematic series “young hip city girl on vacation”.  She told the story about this young girl and where she was going, what the event was, and how all the outfits worked together with color, pattern, and style.  We loved it!  Two middle school girls attended the class last week and returned with sketches and ideas.  We had the chance to discuss their “homework” and push them to add clarity and details.

Illustration Class

I was able to work with a boy who will be in third grade next year.  He saddled up to me and we manipulated the wooden manikin to pose it for our design.  We discussed super hero outfits- “NO”, we talked about sports, “Yes”, and we designed a new kind of soccer goalie outfit.  He really liked working with the colored oil pastels and the willow charcoal.  Next a kindergarten stepped up to the table and she had so many ideas.  I helped her see the simple shapes to create a basic form and then she got to designing.  She was inspired and so very creative. Grandma and Momma watched and took photos … they loved it too.  We will be seeing her next Saturday.  Each student went home with a portfolio and more paper to continue drawing until next week.

Celeste Designs

Dress Concepts

This has been a great experience with so many different ages.  As we sat at the table drawing, listening, and laughing, I realized the age group and how this all came to be.  We had grandparents, parents, an art teacher, alum art student, a senior in high school, middle school students, and elementary students all enjoying drawing, a simple concept around fashion illustration but at the same time a very powerful moment shared by everyone.  We opened untapped creativity, encourage beginning talent, and reawakened genuine artist talent.   The class was created to help showcase the Oscar de la Renta Fashion Exhibit but our little design illustration class has inspired some future designers too.

Second Grader

Middle School


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