Tag Archives: supervision

Thankful for What We Have

I don’t usually talk directly about where I work, but today I am feeling particularly proud to be part of the Fairfax County Public Schools art program. I have been communicating with an art teacher who left our school system a while back to live in another part of the country. She is excited to finally have a Fine Arts Supervisor in her division and has been talking with this supervisor about some of the wonderful things we have been doing here in FCPS.

She wrote:

Our new fine arts coordinator shared several goals she has for the future of our program. They all aligned with what FCPS is doing or has done. She was thrilled to hear more about my FCPS Fine Arts experience.

This supervisor is especially interested in supporting new teachers, and would like to emulate some of the resources we provide to our new teachers and the way we share resources to all art teachers through our blackboard organization. Nothing of that kind currently exists in that school system.

Another common interest was found in an art teacher exhibition. Many of you have read about our annual Artist Teacher Exhibitions through this blog.

Another big change for this year is a Art Teacher Exhibition, which she was unsure if/how it would work but wanted to give it a shot. I told her I know that it would work because I have seen it and showed her an article and youtube video of your last FCPS Exhibit that solidified her vision.

While it’s wonderful to think of all of these supports and programs being emulated, it was especially good to hear her views on our curriculum.

She also noted that all FCPS curriculum and lessons I use and have shared with her are very rigorous and I shared that it is easy to teach with rigor and many moving parts when you aren’t creating every single piece on your own. The resources, training and support make all the difference.

She repeatedly told me that she couldn’t wait to meet “these amazing people” and is curious to learn how they built this program and all of these resources… I am inspired by her hopes and vision for our program.


Working within a system like FCPS can make you hyper-aware of its challenges and shortcomings, but notes like the ones from this teacher are a great reminder of how good we have it. Despite any criticism we may have or hear, FCPS is still providing a world-class art education for its students, and other school systems are trying to get to where we are. I’m proud to be a part of it!


Advice to an Arts Supervisor

I met with a friend and colleague for lunch today to chat about his new role as a fine arts supervisor in a nearby school district. I didn’t go in with a specific list of advice to give, but after some reflection, here are a few things I hope he will take away.

Moving On Up by Charles Raubacher, art teacher
Moving On Up by Charles Raubacher, art teacher

Continue reading Advice to an Arts Supervisor

Leadership Options

An art teacher asked me recently how she might pursue opportunities to grow and advance her career. There is, of course, nothing small about a career in the classroom, but some teachers want to do more, and frankly, I think education has a lot to gain by having more art teachers take on leadership roles. So what are some of the avenues an art teacher might consider?

The Light at the Top of the Stairs by Jean Barrett, art teacher.
The Light at the Top of the Stairs by Jean Barrett, art teacher.

Continue reading Leadership Options

A Local Art Curriculum

At my state art ed conference I was reminded that many art teachers around the state do not have a local art curriculum. With recently revised state standards and new National Arts Standards, a teacher in this situation might wonder why they would want such a thing. Well, all you have to do is ask a teacher who has one.

Red Navigating Life by Carol Trost, art teacher
Red Navigating Life by Carol Trost, art teacher

Continue reading A Local Art Curriculum