Saturday, June 11, 2011

a huge thank you to all the blogging art teachers

I started this blog at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year after a frustrating attempt at keeping a website updated the previous year.  I noticed that a friend had started blogging and said it was so much easier to keep current than a website, so I decided to give it a try.  The intent of the blog was to keep parents informed of what we were doing in the art room since there is so much more learning going on than just what is seen in the final product, and to give students a chance to show off their projects at home, or continue their learning in personal sketchbooks.  Our principal asked us to write a goal or two for the year on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope, and mine was to update my blog weekly to keep parents involved with the fun we were having in art class.
At the end of the year, I had accomplished half of my goal of posting at least weekly, but I didn't yet have the second half: parent followers.  Hopefully there were parent and student visitors to my blog, they just didn't click "follow."  I posted my blog address in several school newsletters and asked classroom teachers to link my blog to their classroom blogs, so I'm hopeful for next year!
The highlight here is this - I had one of my most inspired teaching years of my entire 19 year career, thanks to the art teacher bloggers I have found this year.  I just hit 90 followers and 30,000 page views, and have significantly enhanced my portfolio of lesson plans by seeing what all is going on out there in the art teaching world.  Talk about best practices!  I am comparing my lessons to similar ones from teachers around the globe and tweaking my own by learning from you guys.  I feel that my sharing is being appreciated by others who give the nicest comments.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I've experienced professionally, and I hope you all feel the same way.
I will continue to write for the parents and students and hope that some day I will get a local following... I teach at an amazing school with great support for the arts.  Until then, I will continue to enjoy sharing with all of you dedicated, talented, savvy, and most of all COOL ART TEACHERS!!!!!  Thanks so much for an inspired year in the art room.    - Hope


  1. I feel the same way:) I'm the only art teacher at my school and have found blogging to be a great way to connect and be inspired!

    Also, I don't use the followers function. I add my favorite blogs to my blog reader. I'm sure you have more readers than you think! And I like to use google analytics. You can do a geographical search and see how many people in your city are visiting your blog (good indication of parents) and what link they followed to visit. Hope that helps!

    Getting more parents to read is something I'll be working on too.

  2. What a great post Hope.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and allowing us to take a peek into your art room.

    It was always very gratifying to see the artwork of your talented students.

    What we need as art teachers is the love and respect of our students and I am certain you do have both.

  3. Thank you! I love your blog. I just taught my first year. I was 5 th and 6th grade. Next year I will be moved to the high school. I am now in search of great high school art teacher blogs.

  4. It warmed my heart to read your story, as I had a similar experience this year. I, too, started my blog last Fall, with the intent of having an easy way to communicate with classroom teachers about what was going on in the Art Room. Little did I realize that I would connect with art teachers from all over the planet!! I have always bemoaned that we are pretty much "trapped" in our isolated rooms without the ability to meaningfully chat with our peers on a regular basis. Blogging has been such a tremendous surprise. Like you, I am not sure how many of our local teachers and parents read what I do, because they are not the folks who leave comments, but the community that you and I have become a part of has certainly been inspiring. Perhaps next year I will be a bit more proactive in rounding up the "locals"!! Thanks for sharing -- have a great summer!

  5. Well said!! These blogs are a life line!! I only have 10 followers so you are way up on me! I just hope parents from my school are checking my blog out even if they are not followers! Thx for ur great blog and wonderful art ideas! Enjoy ur summer!!

  6. Ditto everything everyone has said so far! Who would have thought that my 35th year of teaching (yes, 35!) would be among the best, due to the vibrant community of peers I have found through blogging?

    At a time when the unfiltered nature of communication in cyberspace often brings out the worst in people (as seen recently w/politicians in the news), here we are, using internet communication and getting to know each other through professional dialogue and sharing of ideas and expertise. We should pat ourselves on the back! We have discovered that so much of what we do, whether in your school in Georgia, my school in the Adirondacks, or the schools of bloggers in Texas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even Europe and Australia parallels so closely. What a blessing to form a community after working in isolation for so long! Thank you, fellow art teacher bloggers, I love you all!

  7. I truly believe in the power of art teacher blogging!!! We have been come such an amazing resource for one another...inspiring, challenging, laughing, and finding someone who understands. I love our blog community...and hope it keeps on keepin' on!!!!

  8. I too think it is wonderful how we all have met through a little computer and have really become a reference library. I am so happy to have a great group of art teachers and artists to share our ideas. :) Have a great summer.

  9. Hi Hope,

    I love your post and feel exactly the same way as you. I'm from Australia and most of my followers are from the USA. I do have 1 parent who is following me. I suppose it's about promoting it and showing parents how easy it is to use.
    Blogging for me as been indispensable. I too feel isolated in my art room. No one is on the same page as you. My students are also happy and excited about being in the art room. Blogging has been a way to celebrate and share the amazing artwork that happens in the art room everyday. I have connected professionally with teacher from across the globe and learnt so many cool art ideas.
    I have taken it upon myself, with the support from my principal and region to start up a Visual Arts Network in my local area. So in a couple of weeks, I have about 10 teachers attending a network. This will be a chance for me to share my blog and other blogs.
    I'm glad I found your blog and I look forward in following it.

  10. Hello Hope (Mrs. Knight)!
    I just started a new blog about my Art Class. I've been blogging for my own art journey for several years, but recently stumbled upon art teacher blogs and decided to start one for my classroom adventures. I look forward to starting the next year (my 29th year) with my blog to record the year. I like your idea of setting a goal to blog once a week to show parents what is going on in the classroom. I will keep that in mind as the new year starts in August!
    I hope that you and some others will come follow my new blog as I will be following along with you and others. Thanks for sharing. ~ Beth (Mrs. Macre)

  11. YES!! Thanks for sharing this Hope! This is exactly why i want to write about arts educators and blogging for my masters thesis! And thanks to all your other commenters- it gives me another jolt to get back to writing it...

  12. I totally agree and I have been very inspired to create one of my own...please check it out and THANK YOU for all your creative ideas!

  13. What tips can you suggest for us new bloggers so that we can have as much success as you have? How did you get so many other bloggers to know about you?

  14. I am still a new blogger... just started last year at this time. I really think the success I've had was through posting weekly and following lots of other blogging art teachers. It's been so much fun and I know my lessons this year will be top notch from learning from all of you.


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