Professional Learning

How to Make Art, Earn PD Hours, and Have Fun at the Same Time

watercolor set with watercolor painting of summer fruit

It’s safe to say that the 2020-2021 school year was like no other. If you’re like most art teachers, right now, there’s only one thing on your mind—summer break. And that’s the way it should be! After the year we’ve all been through, there’s nothing you deserve more than rest and relaxation.

But what if you need to earn professional development hours this summer? Or what if you love to learn but don’t know where to start? What could you possibly muster up the energy for?

blank sketchbook with pen

Introducing the PRO Summer Playlists

PRO Learning is AOEU’s on-demand professional development solution. It’s like Netflix for art teachers! When we plan content for PRO, we focus on what art teachers need most.

After thinking about what kind of PD teachers need after this school year, we considered the very real burnout many teachers are facing. This led us to put together a resource that highlights artmaking and creativity. What better way to rejuvenate after a challenging year than with the healing power of art?

Even better, with these playlists, you can gain new ideas, techniques, and processes to infuse into your class next school year and earn PD hours all at the same time! We recently surveyed active PRO users. 97% of teachers who use PRO said these playlists increased their confidence in the classroom. It also helped 95% of teachers be more engaged in their teaching.

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In these 3 playlists, you’ll find a total of 28 PRO Packs focusing on three main themes.

1. Reconnect with Your Inner Artist

The first playlist centers on the importance of making art. So many things fell by the wayside this past school year as teachers barely kept themselves afloat. For many, this meant forgoing their artmaking practice. Let this playlist ease you back into creating! Follow along with the facilitators on camera as you learn about digital drawing, collage, sculpture, and more.

watercolor set with watercolor painting of summer fruit

Each Pack contains tips and tricks for processes, techniques, and teaching strategies. You will walk away from each Pack feeling more confident with the medium and how to teach it to your students. It’s a win-win.

2. Explore New Mediums

If you need more of a jolt to return to your artmaking practice, the second playlist is for you. Here we have curated 10 of our most exciting media-based Packs for you to explore. Have you ever thought about trying encaustics? How about making art that glows? Maybe you want to get into tie-dye this summer. Wherever your media interests lie, we have a Pack to take your skills to the next level! Plus, your students will be so excited when you share some of these new mediums next school year.

pile of tie dye

3. Boost Your Creativity

Were you someone who leaned into your creativity this past year or someone who felt lost when it came to creating? Maybe you experienced both. If you feel like you could use some creative energy, the third playlist is for you.

glass jar of paintbrushes

In this playlist, you will find Packs that speak to creativity on a variety of levels. For example, perhaps you’re looking to become more creative with materials. If so, the Creating With Unexpected Materials Pack would be a great place to start. Or, maybe, your lessons are feeling stale. The Bringing New Life to Old Lessons Pack will have you thinking about your teaching practice in a whole new light. Finally, if you feel like you just can’t get your ideas flowing, Helping Students Plan Artwork and Generating Ideas for Art will have ideas for students you can also use yourself!

Make a Plan to Make Art

Wherever your interests lie, we have new learning for you. Be sure to download a copy of the playlists, so your inspiration continues all summer long. It only takes a moment to get started. Glance over the Packs and identify one to start with today. The PDF is hyperlinked, so all you have to do is click on the Pack you would like to explore.

Not finding what you’re looking for? Be sure to check out our other set of playlists on the PRO Implementation tab. Or, view all available PRO Packs here. There are over 170 to choose from!

And remember, many school districts invest in PRO for their art teachers.

If you would like to explore getting PRO in your school, fill out the contact form here, and one of our team members will be in touch.

We wish you the very best summer of your teaching career. Be sure to take some time to step away from your classroom, put your feet up, and do something you enjoy!

What are your PD plans for this summer? 

Which Packs look most interesting to you?

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.


Amanda Heyn

Amanda Heyn is AOEU’s Director of K–12 PD & Media and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She enjoys creating relevant and engaging professional development just for art teachers.

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