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Art teachers are amazing humans. You ignite passion and creativity into the fabric of our culture through education. YOU are the most valuable resource your students need and you and your needs should come first. In order to bring the fullness of your expression into your classroom, you need resources and support—support from your district, administration, state, and parents.
Professional development is not something brand new to you. Perhaps you had a professional development session a year ago you found interesting. But then what? You probably took some notes, saved a few handouts, and tried out one strategy in your classroom. All good things, but what if you knew your professional development resources and administration were totally invested in your continued growth all through the year, not just for a required afternoon?
Or how about curriculum development and support? You may have a district adopted plan or your own tried-and-true scope and sequences. They have also been great, but what would it be like to have a library of lessons and resources that grows each month, just for art teachers? To go a step further, what if there was a dedicated team from your curriculum provider who was invested in you and your district’s success?
My name is Gabriel Thompson, and I have the privilege of leading our School Success Team. We work alongside school district arts administrators, professional development coordinators, and curriculum directors as they strive to provide relevant professional development and rejuvenated curriculum for their art teachers. My team and I are “that next step” that is included when a district purchases PRO Learning, FLEX Curriculum, or both for their art teachers.
As an art educator, you are an expert in your field and often the only one in your building. You are the one to both introduce and develop skills with all kinds of media and foster creativity. You would not expect a kindergartner to walk into an 8th-grade classroom with the same skill sets. It’s the same thing when you, as an educator, receive new training and resources—whether it’s curriculum resources or skills learned through professional development. Could you learn to use the tools most effectively alone? Maybe, but the likelihood of success is much higher with support.
When starting something new, you might be used to setting up online accounts, attending training sessions, and calling 1-800 numbers for help. These are valuable and necessary methods of support companies should provide to serve their customers. At AOEU, we believe these necessary steps are not the entirety of our relationship with you and your school district. In fact, we make it a point to start long before you get that first welcome email. We spend time getting to know your administrator and understanding what makes your district and school unique. We want to know how to best support you in this stage of your career.
Once we’ve had that connection, we like to create a product training that specifically speaks to your community. But that is just the beginning. From there, we create a plan to continue working with your administrator to best provide the most relevant resources to you all through the year. Sometimes administrators don’t know where to start; other times, they have a multi-year plan prepared—either way, we are able to step in and collaborate to create the best experience for you!
How to get the most out of PRO Learning and FLEX Curriculum? Download this handout to help.
We often hear comments like, “I didn’t realize there could be PD that was actually for me.” “PD is a dirty word in our district.” “We’ve never had a real art curriculum until now.” Or choice-based teachers say, “I never have used or wanted to use a lesson plan in my classroom, until now.” School Success matters because it is our job to reinvigorate the joy in art teachers as we introduce them to and see them use impactful resources and learning. When you have the resources and tools you need to thrive, you are able to operate at 100% capacity, which directly benefits your students.
Once a district adopts PRO Learning, FLEX Curriculum, or both, we start by working closely with your district administrator to create a short-term onboarding plan and a long-term success plan. What’s the goal? To ensure you continue to have amazing professional development and curriculum available to you each and every day. The next step, and our favorite step, is meeting you, the art teachers, in our live virtual or in-person training.
PRO Learning and FLEX Curriculum are not complex tools to use. In fact, we usually describe the user-friendliness of our platforms to that of streaming services like Netflix. But starting off with a brand new platform can always be a bit daunting. Our goal is to make sure each valuable piece of PRO Learning and FLEX Curriculum is easy for you to use immediately! After our training, we become an ongoing resource for you.
From there, we love to receive feedback on the platforms and how to improve. We also check-in to see the impact of the platforms in your classrooms. This is where we hear all the success stories that keep our mission and vision strong as we continue to develop content.
The reason we are called “School Success” instead of “Plain Old Support” is because it speaks to your district’s entire investment. We do more than making content that is rigorous and relevant to a modern art education landscape. How can we help bring your school success?
What does professional development and curriculum support look and feel like for you right now?
How can School Success at AOEU help you better utilize what we offer?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.