Roaming Around the Edges

Sometimes a blessing is right in front of you, and you simply need a reminder to open your eyes to see it. Thanks for the reminder, Trevor Bryan!

I first met Trevor Bryan at the regional Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ) Fall Conference a few years ago. He was doing a couple of talks on integrating ELA with the Arts. Student Growth Objectives (SGOs), which are used State-wide to rate teacher effectiveness were just hitting the scene and causing lots of confusion at the time. I sat in on both of his talks and enjoyed them very much. He also spoke again at the 2015 Conference, Full STEAM Ahead, and one of my colleagues enjoyed sitting in on his talks.

I recently came upon his writings at 4 O’Clock Faculty, a blog for “educators looking to improve learning for themselves and their students.”

A recent post, Creativity & Me, touches on the feelings associated when we are creating: the deep satisfaction that artists of all ages feel when they are participating in an act of creative engagement that takes them out of themselves. Trevor, at one point, states that:

As much as possible, I want my students to feel like they are moving forward.

I want their work to be paired with personal meaning and purpose.

I want them to be roaming around their edges.

I love the phrase “roaming around their edges” because it brings forth images in my mind of discovery. And, where would art be without exploration and discovery? Isn’t this what we all want for our children’s artwork regardless of whether we are parent or teacher?

I really long for this level of engagement with my students. I feel like reflecting about this concept of students “roaming around their edges” has helped me experience joy this week in the midst of the craziness that I often allow to wash over me. I’m still working on letting go of certain preconceived ideas I have about my projects and how to balance that out with student choice. But, I’m getting there!

So, hope on over to the folks at 4 O’Clock Faculty and prepare to be challenged and inspired! Perhaps, like me, it will also interject joy into your everyday experience of life at school.

Sometimes a blessing is right in front of you, and you simply need a reminder to open your eyes to see it.  Thanks for the reminder, Trevor Bryan!

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