ABOUT ME: AMY ATKINSON (AKA MISS A) ART TEACHER
Join me in conversations with Art Educators about the making and mentoring of art like this featured one with Art Educator phenomena Nancy Long about the art process and how embracing the vulnerabilities of experimental art making while sometimes challenging can have lasting postive impacts on student's creative confidence and well being. My podcast Creativ-tea began with the generous support (and awesome faciliites) of Concordia University's 4th space recording lab.
ART EDUCATOR: CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY AND CDNIS HONG KONG
I am currently taking my educational experience to the next level and am working on my Ph.D in Art Education at Concordia University. My focus is on exploring ways to support quality teaching within the secondary IB DP VA course: what does that mean? how can it impact the way we think about teaching art? how can we support art teachers?
I am also exploring, in a different yet entangled tangent, spirt of place through researching the life of Okakura Kazuko (Tenshin) and his Rokkakudo at Izura Beach in Japan. In my practice, I also am looking at post-object strategies, focusing on process and the importance of the learning environment to support the creative process from a perspective of new materiality.
I have had so many amazing experiences teaching Visual Arts in Canada, Singapore, Australia, Thailand and China. I came late to my teaching career, first starting my career within the (then) emerging field of Information Technology (IT) as a programmer and web developer working at IBM and Rogers Media. When I look back, it's clear that I took the 'teachers are life long learners' saying to heart. Ever since my early days as the Head of Waterfront in Orillia, Ontario, a competitive swim coach, a feng shui consultant and a working artist, I have always been teaching and learning.
As a teacher my strengths are based on enriching the student experience; inspiring, motivating and creating inclusivity across the arts. I adore my time in the art studio with my students, challenging each other (me to them and them to me) with ideas and designs developed through the design process. I am a big fan of scaffolding and writing curriculum that flows through the secondary levels with a focus on the design cycle, (It is all about the PROCESS!), as well as skill development while including planning opportunities for students to practice and demonstrate ATL skills is an integral part of a task or assessment. Doing this allows students to take ownership of their work and recognize their successes beyond the remits of the grade boundaries. To that end, I also created a few strategies, such as 'Pop Art Challenges' to further encourage student ownership and develop confidence in their artwork as well as the understanding of the subjective nature of art. On a more practical level, as a working artist, I know my subject thoroughly. Because of my strong IT background, technology and creative ways to use it to convey meaning and develop creative confidence is always a part of classroom. I am constantly inspired myself by my students and take great pride that I am able to work alongside my students to design units that we all can creatively engage with.
Equally passionate about supporting teachers, in particular, Visual Arts teachers, I have created my IBDPVAwithMissA.com site as a resource both for students and teachers. I regularly create online workshops for teachers to help them navigate the sometimes tricky components within teaching secondary Visual Arts. I have led creative and theoretical workshops for secondary teachers at numerous schools and mentor VA teachers.
WORKSHOP LEADER : IB SHARE OUT FOR TEACHERS, 2021
Since COVID has restricted many IB DP VA teachers from attending workshops and many may be feeling isolated, I organized a few zoom IB DP VA discussions/workshops over the fall. It was so cool to meet and connect with over 107 IB DP VA teachers from all over the world. Thanks to the participants for allowing me to record the sessions and share with those who weren't able to attend. I hope to make this a annual event.
You can find the full video on You-Tube. For more helpful guidance, visit my site IBDPVAwithMissA.com or reach out to me with your questions.
EDITOR: CANADIAN ART TEACHER JOURNAL
DIGITAL CONTENT DEVELOPER AND INSTRUCTOR: ONTARIO VIRTUAL
Working with Ontario Virtual School as a content developer and VA instructor, I am exploring how to develop innovative strategies to straddle our new hybrid and asynchronous learning environments, while enhancing creativity and inclusivity and exploring technology. I have developed secondary Visual Art courses that explore contemporary art themes, encourage the creative process while developing student's knowledge and understanding of art concepts, art history, art analysis and of course, allowing them much guidance and inspiration to develop their own creative path.