Winter Conference Preview (Ep. 102)

Conference week is finally here! With Art Ed Now coming up in just four short days, AOE writer (and Art Ed Now presenter) Lindsey Moss joins Tim to preview everything coming up on Saturday. They talk about Lindsey’s excitement for her upcoming conference presentation (6:15), her love of putting together giant packets of information and resources to share with everyone (10:00), and the presentations they are most looking forward to (11:45). Full episode transcript below.


Resources and Links:

  • Check out everything about the conference here
  • Tim and Lindsey discussed her PRO Learning Pack that will be released on Thursday. Check out Art Ed Pro here
  • All of Lindsey’s articles can be found here






Welcome to Art Ed Radio, the podcast for art teachers. This show is produced by The Art of Education, and I’m your host, Tim Bogatz. You have heard me talk endlessly about the Art Ed Now Conference, and it is finally here. This Saturday is the day, and to be honest, I am feeling a huge mixture of excitement and relief. We’ve been planning, and putting this conference together for the better part of six months, and it’s a great feeling to have the week finally get here, and be ready to go. Resources are ready. The schedule is ready. Our featured presenter, Alexa Meade, is ready, and it is all going to be spectacular. If you have not signed up for the conference yet, go do it at The conference is a boost of inspiration and motivation, and it’s coming when we all know that teaching is an absolute grind. January and February are the toughest times of the year, and this is a great chance for you to get some motivation. There is still time to register, but you only have two days left.

To encourage you to actually go register, we have a discount for our podcast listeners. If you use the code SAVE20NOW. That’s S-A-V-E 20 N-O-W, all uppercase, you will get $20 off the registration price, so go register. Seriously. Pause the episode, go register, and come back once you’re done, okay? I’ll wait for you, but now that you’re back, let’s chat about the conference. Lindsey Moss, one of our most popular conference presenters, is here to talk all things Art Ed Now. We’re going to chat about her presentation, her famous 60-page packets of resources that she puts together for everyone, talk about what she’s looking most forward to at the conference, and how she spends her day. Let’s bring her on, and go ahead and get things started. Lindsey Moss is here with me to talk all things art ed now conference. Lindsey, how are you?

Lindsey: I’m good, Tim. Thanks for having me.

Tim: Yeah. I’m really excited to talk to you, and I know a lot of people are super excited to see your presentation coming up here, but before we dive into the conference talk, I want to ask you about the new learning pack that you filmed for Art Ed PRO. I think it’s called Designing Curriculum Units with Ease, and it’s one of the three that’s being released on Thursday, so can you give us just kind of a quick rundown of the topics, and of the videos recorded, and the resources that you put together for it?

Lindsey: Oh, sure. Yeah, so this was a fun project for me because the district diamond, several years back, they decided to sort of move away from packaged curriculum, and support their teachers by having teacher-driven curriculum, and they brought in some consultants. I was really excited, because our department got to write our curriculum from the ground up, but as we went through that process, it was an easy process because our department are all kind of friends outside of school, so we reached consensus really quickly. It’s easy for us to make decisions that everybody can live with, but the process itself was a little clunky for us. We struggled with it. It was kind of outside of our wheelhouse, and outside of our personalities, and now we’re kind of moving on into the revision process of that first curriculum document. I think the thing that I’ve learned on the way is that the normal curriculum process that districts might be using for other subjects, like math or reading, doesn’t always lend itself to art, where you need specificity, but you also need room for it to be individualized to each teacher, and their passion projects, and what they love to teach and inject into their curriculum.

When I was approached to make this PRO-pack, I was really excited, because I felt like I could take the best of what I’d experienced, and then what I think would be the best-case scenario for an art-specific situation, and kind of tailor the curriculum design experience to that. In that pro-pack, there’s a ton of videos, but some of my favorites, there’s one that’s about developing your teaching philosophy, which I think is a really important first step before you write any curriculum, to kind of know what you believe, and that way you can match everything up as you’re creating it. Then of course we go over things like national standards, how to develop some high quality learning objectives, and then something that I think is an interesting part of this is how to connect to other frameworks of teaching, whether that’s problem-based learning, or other frameworks that are representative of good pedagogy for art teachers, or ways that you can teach your content.

There’s a lot of helpful resources in that, and Tracy helped develop a lot of those, too, but there’s a great lesson plan template in there. There’s a worksheet that helps you design learning objectives, a whole, humongous list of instructional strategies that you might not think off the top of your head, so some interesting things to kind of go to to add the your repertoire. I think most helpful is examples of curriculums, because you don’t want to be handed a curriculum that’s already completed, because you want to make it for yourself, right? It’s great to have examples to look off of, so that you can kind of understand what the process should look like in its finality, so I hope that it’s helpful to some people. It was definitely fun to make, and it really helped me clarify a lot of my thinking, too, as I was putting it together with the team.

Tim: Yeah. That sounds awesome, and I think if people are looking for some resources, if they’re getting started with designing curriculum, I think that, like you said, is a great resource, and people can check out Art Ed PRO to kind of find that all, but we’re here to talk conference, so let’s jump into that.

Lindsey: I am so excited for it. Yes.

Tim: That’s awesome, and you’re kind of becoming a regular here, and your presentation for this conference here in the winter is all about taking the stress out of sick days when you have to be gone preparing for subs, et cetera, basically making the whole idea of being gone from school as painless as possible. Let me ask you, what appealed to you about the topic, and why is this something that you’re passionate about?

Lindsey: Yeah. It’s a topic near and dear to my heart because it’s something I live every day, right? When I was younger, I guess I just didn’t miss work a lot. I just didn’t get sick a lot, and it was kind of a non-issue, and then I had kids, and particularly my … I don’t know if this overshare, but with my second pregnancy, I went into early labor, and it was actually the day of an art show, at a building where it was a shared position, and I had to go to the hospital, and couldn’t even go to the art show. Luckily, my colleague Jasmine covered for me. She’s like, it’s fine, Lindsey. We’ll handle it, but that hospital visit resulted in six to eight weeks of bedrest ending up to me having my youngest, Allie, and so I was thinking that I was not going to be taking maternity leave until after summer break, and all of a sudden I had to get sub plans together unexpectedly for weeks on end. It was interesting because I got so lucky.

The sub I got was amazing, and she would text, and call with questions all the time, but that was an eye opening experience, too, because hearing what she was confused about with my lesson plans, or what she could or couldn’t find in my room just was sort of eye opening from the sub end, like maybe what that is like for the person on the other end of the plans. That was really a different experience that got me thinking about sub plans initially, and then now that I have two little girls, I still don’t get sick a ton, but my kids do. Elementary schools are a Petri dish, and the thing that I found is that also, it’s at the most inopportune times. I feel like my kids get sick right before art shows, or right before I’m presenting PD for my district or something, a day you can’t miss, and then also it’s never like you have a lot of notice. My kids aren’t sick the night before. They’re sick at like 7:00 in the morning, and I have to be at work at eight, right?

That’s made me have to kind of rethink and prepare ahead of time, and I feel like a lot of people in that boat. Man, how many times are you sick, and you just don’t want to go to work, but it feels like it will be way easier, right?

Tim: Yes.

Lindsey: I don’t know. I just thought maybe if there were some different resources out there, that that would really help some of our conference attendees, that people would really appreciate that. One conference takeaway would be like, yeah, I learned all these great strategies, but also I have a lesson plan for when I’m sick, so that was my thought.

Tim: That’s good, and actually … Yeah, no. That’s perfect, and I actually want to talk about those resources, because you’re famous for putting together these just gigantic packets of information with the conference. I think last summer it was something like 80 pages of resources, and this time I think it’s a 64-page PDF, if I remember it right. How do you put all that together? What’s in there for people, and my big question, do you actually enjoy writing and putting together these huge packets of resources?

Lindsey: Okay. Yeah, so don’t laugh at me, but I actually really, really enjoy that. The conference video is a little bit outside of my personality, but putting together the packet, I really love that, because it’s like, I don’t know if it’s really … Maybe it’s not really actually putting the packet together. I think what it is is it’s brainstorming these ideas, right? After the conference topic is discussed, then I let it marinate for a while, and I keep a paper, right, of everything that I want to do in the packet. Of course, the first things that I write down are things that I already do. Then I write down things that I don’t have time to make because I’m lazy, but I will actually make them now, because somebody else will use them, too. I write down a list of really out there ideas, and then I make everything I have time for, but I really enjoy that brainstorming phase, where it’s like, well, how many solutions are there to X or Y problem? I really like that a lot. I know that’s really dorky, but I enjoy it.

Tim: No, I’m glad somebody does. That’s my idea of a nightmare, is putting together 60 or 70 or 80 pages of resources.

Lindsey: Oh, man. That sounds like fun. Yeah, I don’t know.

Tim: Hey, if you enjoy it, and it helps people, man, all the power to you. That’s awesome, but I know you’re a big fan of the conference. Obviously, I can tell the excitement in your voice because we’re less than a week away now, but what other presentations are you looking forward to in the conference? Who are some of your favorites that you want to see?

Lindsey: Oh, man, so okay. This is hard, because it’s like, which ones I not excite … I’m excited about all of them, so I guess first, I’m still … For now, I’m still part of the writing team for Art of Ed, and so there’s a ton of people presenting from the writing team that always have such smart ideas. I really enjoy their articles. Nanette has got one. Debbie, Melissa. I think Kelly’s presenting, too, and they always have really interesting takes that I wouldn’t have thought of, so I’m excited for all those writing team presentations, but then three … I think there’s like three more that I’m really excited for. John and Ruth Post, I feel like first of all, John has so many interesting perspectives, and he’s such an expert on clay, and then I loved Ruth’s presentation last year. She did that one about traveling on a cart, and it was really humorous, but it was chock full of all of these really practical suggestions, and I love that they’re doing it together as a couple.

I’m excited to hear the banter, and I love the topic, early ceramics, so I’m … That one for sure I am super excited for. Nic Hahn, I’m really excited for hers on the colographs. Actually, you had turned me on to her blog earlier this year, and I’m a little obsessed now. She has so many great ideas, so I’m excited for hers, and then there’s this other guy, actually he’s from Illinois. His name’s Rich, and I met him at the IAEA, and he was just interesting to talk to. He’s very charismatic, and I can tell he’s full of really good ideas, and his blurb about his presentation, it has paper mache in it, so yeah, I will be watching that for sure.

Tim: Yeah, it’s super cool because Rich is very well-known for his technology stuff, but he’s talking about this super in-depth lesson that he has, that is all about characters, and storytelling, and it goes from these drawings, into these paper mache creations, and then he’s also doing computer animations with them, and just some incredible stuff, so that’s a cool one, but yeah. John and Ruth are always super entertaining, and they actually have a video in the after pass, all these extra videos that you can watch after the conference, and it’s all about how they’re getting set to retire to Sedona, Arizona, and they’re just adorable together.

Lindsey: I love it.

Tim: It’s like relationship goals. Yeah, it’s going to be fantastic.

Lindsey: Now I’m excited for the After Pass, too.

Tim: I know, so yeah. That’ll be good, and I think everybody’s going to be really excited to hear from Alexa Meade, too, because her work is just incredible, and she had so many good things to say. I know a lot of people listen to that podcast, too, but in her presentation, she’s talking about creativity, developing creativity, but then she also touches on how we can do that with students, and what should art class look like? It’s really interesting to hear from this world-renowned artist, talking about what should art teachers be doing. I don’t know. It was just interesting to hear that perspective. I think people are going to enjoy that as well, so.

Lindsey: I’m interested to see the video part of that, too, because you shot it in her studio, right?

Tim: Yes. She invited us out to Los Angeles to film that, and I don’t know. Her studio is just like a surreal experience, because for people who don’t know, she paints three-dimensional people, and settings to make them look flat, and two-dimensional, and so you go in her studio, and the walls are painted, and the chairs, and the desk, and even the plants are painted. It’s just like this surreal experience, because you know you’re in a three-dimensional room, but everything looks so completely flat, and so it’s, I don’t know, super interesting visually, and I think yeah, it’s cool, so that’ll be a different.

Lindsey: I’m expecting that one’s going to be fascinating from a content perspective, and also just total eye candy to watch.

Tim: Yes. Absolutely, and we actually, talking about the After Pass, we have the full video of my podcast interview with her, too, so yeah, if you just want to sit and stare at her studio for half an hour, then you have that opportunity, so.

Lindsey: I’m going to do that.

Tim: Cool. All right, so let’s talk the day of the conference, so on Saturday, are you just dropping in for about an hour, and then going back to watch everything later, or are you one of those people who’s there for like all five hours? What is your Art Ed Now viewing experience?

Lindsey: I’m kind of a little of both, because I’ve got kids, right, and it’s the weekend.

Tim: Right. It’s Saturday. Yeah.

Lindsey: Yeah, but I like to do … I would like to do the whole thing up. I get snacks. I’m in my jammies on purpose. I watch a lot of it live, but then I watch some of it later because I get caught up in the chat, because I feel like there’s so many interesting things that the presenters are saying in the chat also. I watch it live, but then I totally have a squirrel moment where I go over to the chat, and I’m reading the whole chat, and then I have to go back later and watch more in-depth. I kind of do a little of both, but I like it, because you can go back later, whatever you missed. When there’s something I super love, sometimes I’ll watch it more than once, so it really sinks in really well, so yeah.

Tim: Yeah, that’s super cool, and I’m kind of excited, kind of sad. I’m going to be hosting a lot more of it this year. I did like an hour last year, and split time with Jessica, but I’m going to be hosting a bunch more, so I don’t know how much I’m going to be able to jump into the Q and A, and like you said, I really love that, the chat, with everybody who’s attending is something that I think is really, really cool, and something that I don’t want to miss out on, but I think I’m going to have to, so we’ll see how it goes, but anyway. One last question for you, since we’re kind of running out of time here.

Lindsey: Sure.

Tim: For people who, maybe this is just their first or their second conference, what are one or two tips that you have for people to get the most out of their conference experience?

Lindsey: Besides have snacks and wear jammies?

Tim: Yes.

Lindsey: Okay. Okay, so for me, I feel like it’s great when you hear all of these interesting different perspectives, and dynamic lesson ideas, and stuff, but that’s only helpful if you actually do something with it, right? I like to have a notebook, and I know this is really dorky, but I try to set three conference goals for myself. I look for one thing I can do Monday, one thing I can take back that’s simple, that I can do right away, with my kids on Monday, and feel like I had some momentum, and used something from the conference immediately, and then I look for something I could implement within a week, like some with a little tiny bit of research, or making one small artifact for my classroom. I could implement that idea, and then one thing I’m going to use by the end of the year, something that might be more of an instructional shift, or as a bigger idea that I could fit in after I let it marinate in my brain, and kind of worked on it for a month of two. Like I said, it’s something for Monday, something for that week, and then something before the end of the year.

When I write those down on a piece of notebook paper, I feel like then I kind of have some action items, and then those great ideas I heard don’t fade away. They become something that I actually use in my classroom, and are really beneficial, and then that’s great, too, because then the next time I talk to my admin about the conference, I can point out how it actually influenced by instructional methods. You know what I mean? I can say, these are the things I actually used from this conference last time, so yeah. I know that goal setting, I feel like, I know that’s dorky, but for me, it at least keeps me on track, and then it works out.

Tim: No, I think that’s a really, really good idea, and I … Yeah, I would encourage people I guess to make sure that they look at all the handouts, especially if it’s a presentation that you really enjoy. See what they presenters have to offer, as far as handouts, because like you’re saying, when you’re trying to implement this in class, that might be all the resources you need. There may be a just brilliant rubric that’s waiting for you, or some presenters have like 10 pages of lesson plans, and those are ways that you can implement these ideas really easily, so I would definitely check that out. Just the other thing that I think people should do if they have the chance is to try and make art along with the presenter. If it’s painting lessons, or like you mentioned, Nic Hahn with the collographs. You’re not going to complete an entire artwork in 10 minutes, but you can get something started, and that can maybe serve as some inspiration.

That can serve as motivation to get you to keep working, and so I would say when there are hands-on opportunities, pick one or two of those, and start making some art, because like I said, this is the timing of the year that you really need inspiration. This is the time of the year where you need motivation, and hopefully the presentations and some art-making, and some new ideas can give people all of that, so yeah. I think those are some good tips, and hopefully that’ll help people, but we’ll go ahead and wrap it up there. Lindsey, thank you so much for chatting with me, and we’ll look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

Lindsey: Yes. I am so excited for it.

Tim: Awesome. Thank you. We’ll talk to you later.

Lindsey: Bye, Tim.

Tim: Hey. A big thank you to Lindsey for coming on. Her excitement is palpable, and that is really cool to hear, and I think she has some great tips for how to make the conference as exciting and as enjoyable as possible. You heard us talking about Nic Hahn’s presentation, where she’s going to be showing you how to create a collograph for your students, and she’s actually doing that with Derwent. Derwent is one of our sponsors that helps us put on the conference, and we cannot thank them enough. If you are one of the 1,500 people who received a swag box, you definitely noticed the set of Derwent drawing pencils that were in there. They’re the first thing from the box that I opened, and the first thing that I started to work with, and the pencils that they give you are perfect for the collograph project that Nic will show you on Saturday, and they’ll be perfect for your classes as well. The sketching set that they included has graphite blocks, charcoal blocks, and some beautiful sketching pencils and water label pencils as well.

I’m a big believer in getting quality supplies in the hands of your kids, and the Derwent sketching set absolutely fits that bill. Your kids can make some great work with these materials. Then just one last word of advice before we get out of here. Lindsey had a great plan for how to get the most out of your conference experience. Look for one thing to bring to your class on Monday, one thing to implement in the short term, maybe the next week or two, and one thing to try in the long-term. That sort of mindset allows you the focus in a specific way on what you’re seeing on Saturday, and really get some concrete takeaways. I would also encourage you to try to make art sometime during the day, and definitely participate in the chat with all of your fellow conference attendees as well. There’s so many good ideas being exchanged in the videos, and the chat, and all throughout the day, and the more you participate in, the more you’re going to get out of the experience.

Art Ed Radio is produced by The Art of Education with audio engineering from Michael Crocker. Go sign up for the conference at You only have two days left, so make sure you use the code SAVE20NOW, S-A-V-E, 20, N-O-W, and get yourself a discount. Hopefully we will see you on Saturday for the conference, and we will be back with a new podcast episode next Tuesday. We’ll talk to you then.

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.