A friend recently asked me, “How much time do you spend on plans to get these students (600 students) engaged in learning?” I thought my mind would snap right there from the pressure as we were filming. The real answer went through my head then I scrambled to think of an appropriate response. The real answer is every waking moment. I spend lots of time planning, creating and prepping fabulous art projects then I have to write the lesson plan with every standard and strategy known to the human race. I am creative and smart. I am not organized or polished. This plan is trapped on my desk under physical heaps of inspiration and ideas. If you saw my intro to me video, you are horror movie frightened of responding to my blog posts and feeling pretty good about yourself right now. U R Welcome! So how does it feel to be creative, smart, organized, polished and good looking? Yes, you!
My name is Valerie York. The best miracle of my life is my son, Jack. One of my dreams was to be Jack’s art teacher and he is now one of my Prek art students. I teach Art Prek-2nd grade at Appomattox Primary School in Appomattox, VA. I grew up in Chester, VA and went to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) graduating with a BFA in Fashion Design. I went to NYC and worked for Tommy Hilfiger in design. I have moved over 30 times in my life. The last time was from across the street 10 years ago when I bought our house. We have our hounds, Skylar, 15 and Ted, 7. My sister lives in San Diego with her family. My folks live 2 hours away and come to every one of Jack’s soccer games. I am a romantic and idealist so of course I am single. I watch Downton Abbey, read contemporary romance novels, and watch all things Gerard Butler. If I am lucky I take a breath, sleep, eat healthy, and exercise.
I find most of my ideas on Pinterest and resources through my EDIM graduate courses at Wilkes University. My classmates and instructors have awesome ideas and resources to share. I post student work on Artsonia, the largest online student art museum. It is our online portfolio. I have created resources through Wilkes like Weeblys, Google Docs, Glogs, and digital stories I use in class for primarily units on shapes and colors and the art class rules and using art materials. I have been encouraged, inspired, and grateful for the help and support I have been given by my Wilkes classmates and instructors when I have reached out to them. I can usually figure out how to gear a resource in an artistic way for young children. Wilkes people, the educationally elite, recognize and appreciate the skills and expertise it takes to learn with young children in creative media and environments. I am around children 24-7 so it is nice to have adults I can connect with professionally and creatively.
http://vvyork.weebly.com/ This one is on primary colors and has a link to my Glog. I used this with Prek.
Here’s a Shapes and Lines Mobile Lesson https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1JJ6FVGXnSy2Y2hTyGuZQeweQ4PGhrbbzf3Dot0jZDrE/edit#slide=id.g1ce2ed53c_0153
My challenges to incorporate new ideas and resources are time, access to technology and collaboration and my struggle with organization. I see my students weekly for either 30 or 45 minutes. Many children get pulled from my classes every week for remediation. I am on lots of committees including Project Based Learning where I feel pressure to create spectacles to be seen with hours of time and money I don’t have. I am working on breaking things down to performance tasks but even that is difficult because young children have so much to learn and explore before assessments. I want learning to be fun and for the students to have the joy I have when I create art. Art is a stress reliever, therapy, play, and innovation. Most of my time is used prepping for Art Classes and photographing and uploading student work for Artsonia. I want to centralize and organize my resources in a phenomenal online presentation. I want to create my own online portfolio to show the value of my work, my creations, my ideas, and my accomplishments. I want to collaborative with creative, smart, organized, polished, good looking, and athletic people. See that, I just raised the bar, expectations and have left out the objective- Make Art Fun! No pressure, you’ve got this. I am giving you the wink, the smile, and the gotcha finger shake. I expect answers in the comment section from the Wilkes educationally elite. Question #2 How do you sanely organize your online resources and put on the polish? Question #3 Are you appreciated for your efforts and asked to do more? Now you can answer Question #1 So how does it feel to be creative, smart, organized, polished and good looking? Yes, you! ( Athletic, too? My Goodness!) You are a rock star. Thank you for helping the less fortunate.