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by Samantha Geier, Associate Director of School-Based Learning
This week we are celebrating 30 years of Evenings for Educators! Here at the Cincinnati Art Museum, we believe in the power of teachers. These women and men are shaping the future. If we can supply teachers with knowledge and resources they will share with their fellow teachers and most importantly their students. 30 years ago, this teacher professional development program began as a way for teachers to network and to utilize the museum as a resource within the classroom and to encourage museum visits for field trips. Resources were shared on slides, floppy discs, CD-ROMs and flash drives. Our technology has been upgraded, but our mission remains the same. Today, we continue to equip both practicing and future teachers will the skills they need to incorporate art and creativity in the classroom.
Starting in September-May, teachers gather once a month for a three hour program. Educators travel from across the tristate to attend. By starting with dinner, teachers and pre-service college education majors have the chance to catch up with old friends and make new connections. A lecture by a curator, guest artist or a local performer follows dinner. The last hour is either an art-making workshop or a docent guided tour with Museum Teacher Stops. Two practicing teachers, one elementary and one secondary, create a lesson specifically for that night’s program and present it to their fellow teachers during the docent guided tour. Participants walk away with a folder of lesson plans, supplement activities and a survey prize! By attending, educators receive continuing education units or CEUs and can earn 1-2 graduate credits through Ashland University.
Every month has a different theme based on a special exhibition or highlighting an area of the permanent collection. Every season we offer several art-makings or make-it take-it nights, where educators create a hands on project that they can take home. Evenings with guest artists like Ana England and Pam Kravetz, to Illustrator nights with Erin Barker, Laura Kern, Kevin Necessary, and Kelli Glenier. We encourage object based learning, incorporating 21st Century Learning Strategies and a STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art and Math) approach to our programs and lesson plans. Every lesson plan and monthly topic makes connections between the arts and other disciplines like math, chemistry and world history. This program is offered for teachers of all grade levels and disciplines, pre-service education majors, teaching artists as well as community and museum educators.
Historically, many veteran attendees of E4E first came in college and have been coming since. In response to that, we have added two additional professional development opportunities called Evenings for Future Educators. One in October and one in March, only for our pre-service or college education majors. With designing programs for college education majors, the hope is that they feel comfortable with the museum and start to use it as a resource, especially for professional development. After students have attended one or both of these programs, they are encouraged to attend the eight Evenings for Educators throughout the year. This is the fourth season for Evenings with Future Educators.
Over the years we have seen many familiar faces. Mothers and daughters both educators, attend the program together, departments from a school carpool, and a select few, have come with friends since the beginning. In recent years, more homeschool teachers have begun attending. In January, we will we have a pre-service college education major present for the first time as the Elementary Museum Teacher. That same night, her high school art teacher will be presenting as the Secondary Museum Teacher. In the last five years 2,359 teachers have attended an Evenings for Educators program. Every one of those teachers and pre-service teachers have students. Whether in their classroom, or for a semester during student teaching, their professional development is put to good use. If you would like to be a part of this 30 year tradition, please see below for the dates and topics of this year’s series. You are always welcome here at the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Evening for Educator Topics:
Thursday, September 19, 2019: Stepping into Self Expression with Pam Kravetz
Thursday, October 24, 2019: Women Breaking Boundaries
Thursday, November 21, 2019: Visit from the Cincinnati Opera
Thursday, January 16, 2020: Treasures of the Spanish World
Thursday, February 20, 2020: Evening with an Illustrator: Kelli Gleiner
Thursday, March 19, 2020: Evenings for Educators: Romare Bearden
Thursday, April 16, 2020: Celebrating Earth Day!
Thursday, May 21, 2020: Gorham Silver: Designing Brilliance 1850-1970
Evening for Future Educators Topics:
Thursday, October 3, 2019: Evening for Future Educators: Introduction to CAM
Thursday, March 5, 2020: Evenings for Future Educators: From Student to Teacher