by Mary Broxterman
In my junior year at the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program, my favorite Professor was Dr. Bob Russell. Dr. Russell had his Art Education majors attend Evenings for Educators at the Cincinnati Art Museum. I had never heard of Evenings for Educators. Within the first five minutes I fell in love. It started with an interesting guest speaker, then we were given a tour of the current exhibition, we got to make art, and ended with teachers sharing lessons with examples of student work. Wow, this was something I could use in my classroom. To top it off I could also get college credit.
Twenty-five years later, with twenty-three years of teaching experience, I am still attending Evenings for Educators. The program still has interesting speakers. This year our guest speakers have been a Japanese Arms and Armor collector Gary Grose, Laura Kern a children’s book illustrator with Wandeling Press, and Associate Professor Kathleen Lynch from the University of Cincinnati, just to name a few. Laura Kern, stayed after her lecture to teach us about watercolor during a hands on art making session. I almost forgot to mention the food, the program starts with dinner.
The Evenings for Educators program also gives educators a chance to connect with teachers from other schools, other districts, and other states. I have shared ideas, lesson plans, resources, and made friends with teachers I have met through the program. It has also introduced me to a variety of opportunities offered by the Art Museum’s Division of Learning & Interpretation. For example, we were given a tour of the Rosenthal Education Center, a studio and learning space for families that is open to the public. Evenings for Educators is not the only professional development program for educators, there is also a summer workshop for teachers, called the Summer Teacher Institute July 18-20th. I have enjoyed the past twenty-five years with Evenings for Educators and my love affair is far from over!