Monday, November 8, 2010

Art Education Association Conference Practices

I blogged recently about how amazing my first attendance to my state's Art Education Association conference was. Honestly, I can't think of anything that could have been better!

Annndd, that got me thinking. I wonder just how amazing the conferences must be that you go to as well. And, well, what more could we all do to make our conferences just THAT much more amazing.

So, what are your favorite practices at the conferences you attend?

1. What do you like best?
2. What do you like least?
3. What is most important to you about the food and the lodging?
4. What do you most want to see from the vendors/what types of vendors do you most hope to see?
5. Do you sell your own arts/crafts at your conference and/or do you want to? and/or do you think you should?
6. What are your favorite types of workshops to attend?
7. What types of workshops do you wish would be offered more often?
8. What are your thoughts on number of people who should be in different types of workshops?

Let me know what you think!!


  1. I've been to state conferences in 3 different states, though not yet in the state where I currently live. I've also been to the National conference. My favorite thing about the conferences-big name speakers, Faith Ringgold, Sandy Skoglund. The state education person blah, blah, I don't care. My favorite state conference was in TN. They don't have people present different things from their classrooms. (or didn't when I attended in 2000, anyway.) They had artists (mostly prof, I think) lead a two day workshop. Rather than going to all of these mini workshops, you were able to immerse yourself in one studio for the entire time. It was fabulous. Georgia does their spring conference the same way, and I like the idea of having one more traditional type conference, plus a studio one.

    The National conference is just SO big that it was hard to know what to attend. Some workshops are just not that interesting once you get in there. I only attended a few workshops, and spent the rest of the time in the museums. Loved it.

    Another good thing about some workshops is after you go to the same state for a few years, you figure out that there are one or two people who present most years and do a really great job. Good to figure that out and sign up early.

    I think my least favorite was the "best practices" share. Very few experienced teachers went to these, so it was mostly students and first year teachers. Not really the best advice that way. (I was a student the last time I went to one of these.)

    Our state conference was a bad weekend for me this year, but I definitely plan on attending next year. Hopefully, my principal will also see the value.

  2. I'm going to my state conference in an week and a 1/2. I love the workshops, especially "hands-on" or ones about lesson ideas that have worked. I am less enamored of workshops that deal with philosophical / educational practices and jargon. Too many words. Some keynote speakers are great, some are BORING...
    I'be been teaching a workshop at my state conference for several years now, and I really enjoy it. It forces me out of my comfort zone, introduces me to a whole bunch of people I wouldn't have met otherwise, and makes me really refine what I do in order to present it.
    There's always too many people for the number of workshops - I hate getting closed out of something really interesting. So I try not to shut anyone out of my workshops.
    I like the vendors when they have new materials to share. Last couple of years there has been nobody selling art prints, which has been a disappointment.
    I like sitting down to lunch with people I just met just 5 minutes before in a workshop and then sharing ideas. For those of us in small schools who work alone, this chance to "compare notes" always refreshes me.
    I usually end up paying for my own hotel room because my school district won't or can't. But that way I can rehearse my workshop to my heart's content!

  3. I just got back from my Minnesota Art Educator Conference. This one was small this year but I was energized by it! I learned about more about technology in the classroom and assessments. I had a couple of hands on, project based seminars. All great! Conferences are what you want out of them. I needed a boost and got it this weekend. Glad to hear you had a good one too!

  4. I'm with Phyl... we are members of the same state association! I'm presenting 3 workshops this year! I love to present. I love to meet people who have lots of tips, tricks, and techniques to share. I rarely stay at a speaker that I don't find interesting. I know it's rude to get up and walk out but I paid to come and am not wasting my time sitting in a boring workshop or presentation! Our state conference has some nice workshops that are 2 hours long such as solar printing, monoprinting, mixed media, and Friday night studio workshops that are 3 hours! It's great! I love mingling with other art teachers who share my passion, concerns, and are willing to share! We have a great time! I often come home full of ideas, freebies, and exhausted because I rarely get enough sleep due to so much sharing!!! It's always a great time. I do present more now than attend lesson workshops because I've been teaching for 13 years and most of them are repeats, but there are ALOT of good ones this year with fresh ideas that I can't wait to pack my schedule full! See you there Phyl!