Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Identity Crisis

Tore a self portrait to distort it and now it kinda creeps me out!
Lately I feel like I've been having an identity crisis! I mentioned in a previous post that I've felt pulled toward TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) but haven't made the leap. This is partly because I don't know exactly if it would fly in my district and partly because there are practical issues I haven't figured out yet. There is some controversy within Art Education and not all Art teachers can agree on what our main goal should be and how to achieve it. I feel wishy-washy.

I haven't posted much lately because I haven't been super excited about my most recently completed lessons. I fell into trying to stick with a more traditional style and do the sorts of lessons that are more similar to my PLC. There is nothing wrong with how the other K-6 Art teachers in my district teach, they are all wonderful educators, I just feel my philosophy shifting.

So, while I ruminate on all of this, here's my "in the meantime plan". I always feel better when I have a plan.
    Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom
  • Keep asking questions and finding answers. TAB teachers seem to be enthusiastic and willing to answer questions without judging. Utilize resources to learn more.
  • Order some TAB books- especially Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom by Katherine M. Douglas and Diane B. Jaquith
  • Find more TAB blogs to follow!
  • Talk to one of my principals about a trial period with TAB. Maybe try it for a semester and evaluate? 
  • Find out what the new state standards for Visual Arts will look like.
  • Find compromises. Best of both worlds?
  • Quit worrying about being traditional, what everyone else is doing, and how they're doing it. Do what feels right within the structure. Stretch beyond DBAE and incorporate more choices.
  • If it's a "have-to" project, follow up with more freedom.
  • Give choices in materials when subject matter is predetermined or choices in subject matter when materials are predetermined.
  • Work on a tentative plan for stepping into TAB or at least a modified version. Consider how to set up classroom as a studio.


  1. I don't know much about TAB but it certainly is an appealing approach to teaching art. There are quite a few components that I like and think should be implemented in art when we can. A while back I did a post on teaching styles and a lady named Kathy included a few links in her comment. I don't want to clog your comment section with links, but I'll include a website that she recommended. http://teachingforartisticbehavior.org/
    Go with your gut and if the way you are teaching isn't working, change it. Can't wait to see how or if you make a transition!

    1. Yep, I've gotten a lot of information from the TAB website (and their Yahoo group). I also remember the post you're talking about. :)

  2. Just remember, questioning your methods is the only way to grow and improve, and growing pains are certain to come along with the process. There's never going to be a time when everyone agrees on the intention of art education, or art for that matter, so just ride it out and keep putting your strengths first.

    1. Thanks, Hope! I would much rather question what I'm doing than just keep doing the same thing over and over without reflection. I mentioned part of my identity crisis in a paper for my grad class and the professor said I'm being hard on myself. Really, I'm just trying to be objective!

  3. I have sort of, kind of made the leap to TAB this year. I have held off on opening some of my centers for fear that I won't be able to control it all. The students are so much more engaged when I let them choose. It is amazing.

  4. I smiled at your post as I went through this exact dilemma after a NAEA conference a few years ago. I was able to switch to TAB for one grade level... it gave me a taste of how it would work. I can't say that I kept all of it but I definitely improved my teaching by adding aspects of choice to my lessons. Good luck!

  5. love you Katie for trailblazing. I think you got it hen you said try the best of both worlds. Recently I created centers. Kindergarteners can choose a center when they finish. The lesson sometimes ends up on the centers shelf for further practice. Cool right! Good investigating I want to check back here to see how it goes.