It was great to see a few of my fellow arts supervisors from around the state today. Meeting with these folks is a great opportunity for us to share the things going on in our districts and support each other’s work.
Limitations by Carol Trost, art resource teacher
What is our work, you ask? Very simply, to support the arts programs and arts teachers in our school districts. These are specialists in fine arts curriculum and instruction, and let me tell you, they are passionate about their work.
As positive and upbeat as that all sounds, I can’t help coming away from our meeting thinking about the art teachers who don’t have an arts administrator representing them at the district level.
An arts supervisor can (just to name a few things) provide targeted professional development, coordinate the development of fine arts curriculum and assessments, advocate for support of arts programs in schools, and facilitate collaboration among art teachers in the district to improve instruction and student learning. So what is the teacher without an arts coordinator to do? No one will suggest that these teachers deserve less than the services listed here.
Now, I’d love to say, ‘Let’s get an arts supervisor in every district,’ but let’s face facts. Some school systems are quite small and are not able to support central office staff for every curricular area. The reality is that teachers who find themselves in such a situation need to look beyond their district to find the support they need.
State and national education associations are a great resource. Not only are a wide range of resources and professional development opportunities available through association literature, websites, and annual conferences; there are also wonderful people leading and supporting these organizations that would be happy to help. In fact, you might find that some of those people are art supervisors — maybe even the people I met with today!