September 25, 2011

Coffee Talk Sunday: MY Blog

This is my serious look for a serious post.

This is hard to write because I don't want to sound like a (you fill in the adjective).

 I have gained SO MUCH from sharing my ideas with all of my blogger friends and I HOPE the feeling is mutual. I try to share my best, simplest, most engaging lessons and ideas.

But my sharing stops at you (and of course my family and non art friends who can stand one more minute of school talk!) So basically I only share this blog with YOU:)

I don't share my blog with art colleagues who don't have blogs or administrators. (I have made only one exception to this rule. A colleague who has recently went into elementary art from middle school art and has worked her tail off. She has shared her work with me also. I think mutual sharing is awesome. She is sworn to secrecy:) Maybe I'm too protective of my ideas or don't want to be an open book I'm not sure what it is! I do know, when I see an idea that is clearly mine being used without any acknowledgement I get THAT feeling. I don't want to be like THAT and I am working on it. I try to remember that the great thing about my ideas is I have tons more of them! I try not to repeat projects too much to keep them coming! 

 I'm curious, do the other art teachers in your district check out your blog? Or have a blog? Do you share it with your principal? I would love to know your thoughts on this! 


Mrs. L said...

I definitely do not share my blog with administrators but I DO share it with my art colleagues. We have monthly art meetings where we share lesson plans and complain about all the stupid things our district requires us to do- I get a lot of great ideas from them so I have shared my blog so they can get ideas from me. Besides, I never mind sharing because ultimately, we do it for the kids.

Phyl said...

I do not share my blog with my administrators, though I'm careful not to write much about them on it anyhow. My principal doesn't have a clue what the heck I do, and I don't think she cares much about me, my art program, or visual art in general. So she would not be interested in my blog. (I could write more but not here.) My superintendent is a big visual arts advocate (but also never in my room), and probably knows I have a blog but I doubt he could figure out how to find it anyhow.
The secondary art teacher in my school is in her 2nd year, doing a great job, but still pretty naive about a lot. She set up a basic blog through our school website but it is mostly unused; the last post was in May after our art show. She doesn't seem to have much of an interest in any online community at this point in her career, so while she knows I have a blog, I doubt she's seen it.

But all that aside, I agree with you. I certainly love to see people making use of my ideas, but I want credit, and I do not like people sharing it as "theirs". I try to give credit when I use ideas I've seen online(such as your butterflies, or your almost-sunflowers on Friday, or Lori's cool masks) but mostly I try to post my own crazy stuff, or my re-interpretation of what someone else is doing.

I think that Pinterest has made this a bigger problem. I'm stunned to find how many images from my blog have been pinned, and I'm hoping that I'll get credit when a lesson is tried. I got especially upset when someone pinned (and someone else re-pinned) a photo that had me and my fellow art teacher in it, next to our art show sign. While I know I had put it out there in cyberspace, I did not expect to see the photo of HER showing up all over the place, and since she is a bit internet-shy I think she would be very unhappy. I asked more than once for it to be removed, and I don't think it was, but who knows how many re-pinnings it has seen at this point. My fault I guess. But if it was the cool sign (made with marker caps) that was interesting, I had photos of that with no people.

As for sharing with art teachers without blogs - I'm so isolated here that it doesn't happen, though Mrs. Lightning Bug's monthly meetings sound like something I wish I had. I will be sharing my blog with other art teachers at a workshop at my state conference, but I'm hoping that it will get more people interested in blogging. I know I talked it up a bit last year, and found a couple of new bloggers/readers that way. We'll see. I'm blathering again - but I guess my point it, I don't mind my blog being viewed, but I DO want credit.

Phyl said...

One more (unrelated) thing. - I replied to a comment you made on my blog, but I'll say it here briefly too. I think maybe you misunderstood me - Sandy Skoglund and Dan Reeder are going to the TEXAS state conference, not mine in NY, and I don't know about yours in CT. It's been many, many years since Sandy spoke at my NY conference. I was just jealous of the opportunity for the lucky Texas teachers!

Shannah said...

I share my blog with admin (who are very supportive) and my intended blog audience are the parents. Because I am the lonely only art teacher at my private school, I love the art ed internet community!

I think it is good etiquette to share your inspiration/sources via a link even if it is an evolved idea. Sometimes people aren't savvy to this rule or just don't think of it as an issue or really did come up with the idea on their own.

I've had my personal art work ripped off by a major retail company in England so I know the sting you are talking about. But, I am happy to share my art ed ideas and hope a little bit of my perspective gets shared again and again by others. Most importantly, the kids benefit from free exchange of ideas and inspiration.

Sorry you are feeling frustrated. I really enjoy reading your blog:)

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that you are complaining about others using your project ideas and posts with out giving you credit, but nowhere on your post do I see credit for the picture of Mike Myers. Were you in the audience that night and it is your own picture or did you grab it from another sight? I agree it's wrong, but you seem guilty of it yourself.

Unknown said...

@ Lighning bug: Yes I totally agree. I think it depends where you work too. I have worked in places where there is a lot of mutual back and forth right now I feel a little isolated in my thoughts. So when I saw Phyl Dragon in my artroom and Mrs. Hahn's blog mini matisse I thought, wow this is cool I want to do this blog thing too! Doing more work then the reg day is well, not cool so sharing it is not in my best interest.

@ Phyl YES! Sandy Skoglund is in CT for the CAEA. You should come! I'm going. I got so excited when I saw you doing the butterflies (I felt like I made it to be featured on Dragon and linked) I see the using of your ideas the most I have to say, which is quite flattering. I do like to see a link to what you did. I have done so many projects that you came up with that I have a whole ODE TO PHYL post in my editing file. I have a few more to add to it on a rainy day. It is amazing how many truly original ideas you have.

@Shannah I haven't even had anything ripped off lately! I don't know what possesses me sometimes! I like to share with those I work directly with (like the other art teacher at my school) but other then that unless the other person has something they WANT to contribute I just don't know! This sharing thing has to be mutual. We don't get that where I am right now. There are many reasons their isn't a lot of back and forth going on where I work.

@Anonymous: You are right! Nice to hear your thoughts. Keeping me honest! Hope to hear MORE on some other blogs, posts etc whoever you are. Maybe you could put anonymous1 or something so we could get to know you?

Hope Hunter Knight said...

I try to link back to the blog that gave me an idea, although I really believe that saying that "there is nothing new under the sun." I have been teaching for 20 years and really enjoy getting ideas for new ways to present classic art ed info. I still see things going around out there I did as a kid and people think it's new. I am new to blogging, but it seems to me the whole point of publishing your ideas online is to share it with the world. My target audience is my students, their parents, and definitely my administrators, so they can be witness to all the hard work we do way down in my corner of the school! Shannah is right that crediting is good etiquette, and it seems that most of the blogs I follow try and do that. Pinterest can actually help people with that, because it saves the original site that the image came from. Before pinterest, I often saved images but often forgot to save the site. Hopefully more teachers will learn proper etiquette and my advice would be to not publish anything you weren't meaning to share.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Mrs. E from Texas, formally anonymous in your comments. My district will not allow us to have a public blog that shows student work. I would love to blog and show what goes on in my room, but when I read yours and other art teacher blogs I like to see what the students have done with the project...I really don't think you all want to just see my work. I do love the community of art teachers on-line who blog...particularly in elementary schools, we seem to be out there on our own with in our buildings. Please keep up the good work.

Also, did you know that Pinterest will formally remove a picture if some one did not get your permission to use it. I have had it happen to me from a furniture manufacturer.

By the way, my district does provide us with a citation generator, so that we ourselves and we teach our students to properly give credit for what we are using from on line sources.

Hope you have a good week!

debmainiero said...

I read your blog everyday, because I enjoy it. You are a very positive person and I like that. I don't have my own blog--I just started Facebook this year! :0)

PS. I honestly that the picture was Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. Showing my age.

debmainiero said...

Sorry, that should be I honestly thought.

One more thing. I remembered a post of yours from last year on The Leaf Man. I went for a nature walk with my dogs today and collected all kinds of goodies to use. Did you use hot glue or did have the kids use Elmers? I'll be doing the lesson on Wednesday.

Unknown said...

Thanks Deb!
TONS of elmers. They had to dry for a day (probably 3 with the humidity we're experiencing.)

I love blogging because of the exchange and feedback. The problem is not sharing with you I think this post came from a very depressing couple of meetings (to me) in our art department. I sometimes think I work with Phyl and Marcia and Shannah and Hope and Jessica and so MANY more. I wish for that kind of exchange in "real life" and instead had to find it blogging. Exchanging art ideas with people I really work with is something I long to do. I look at Jessica's work with her art staff and think "that's so awesome" then the reality hits. At our meetings we talk about how art can support the literacy standards and everyone's on a different page. Anyways!

PINTEREST is awesome and has changed everything for me. I know it's going to help me give credit and get more ideas.

debmainiero said...

Art Project Girl,
Thanks for the info on the glue. I teach in a private school. I am the only Art Teacher. Most of the other teachers look at the work I do with the kids as being creative. However, I get this feeling that the bottom line is they don't appreciate art. This is just a special (prep period) for them. I feel lonely at my job. That's why I like to read art teacher's blogs and share their ups and downs. I so appreciate the art teachers who blog. Love you all. :0)

Phyl said...

If "anonymous" Mrs. E checks back, I hope she could please tell us how to get Pinterest to remove that photo that was pinned inappropriately? Like I previously said, mostly I don't mind, but I really want this pic of the other art teacher GONE from Pinterest. Please, Mrs. E? Also, Mrs. E, are you going to your state conference? You can see Dan Reeder, aka Dan the Monster Man! I'm so jealous!

MJ said...

I do not share my blog with anyone at my school. I do share it with Art teachers from other schools (I am the only Art teacher at my school) and with friends who are teachers, though. I think it is silly (and disrespectful and dishonest) not to give credit to the source of inspiration for a project. Also, I know I would be thrilled to get a shout out if someone used one of my ideas! If I use an idea from another blog, I mention it in my post and link to the entry AND I also leave a note for the Art teacher who inspired me on their blog so they can take a peek and see their influence in my students' work. Can't wait to see more from you this year; Art Project Girl is still one of my favorite blogs!

Anne Farrell said...

Erica - I feel the same way. I think a lot of us blog not to provide free lessons to people we will never meet, but because of the direct feedback we get from people in our own field, people who really value what we do - not just say they value what we do. This is one way for us to actually get credit and respect for what we do.

Being a specialist is a very isolating job as you're usually the only one in your school doing the job you do. I feel that only other experienced art teachers really have a clue what I do and being part of an online community of people (the majority of whom aren't even in the same country as I am!) who are like-minded, somewhat makes up for the lack of interaction with admin and colleagues. For this reason I generally don't share my blog with these people.
If you're anything like me, classroom teachers only set foot in the Art Room when they want to 'borrow' supplies. Most of them show no interest in what their class does for an hour a week when they are with me. Trying to change student's attitudes towards art is a difficult task when many school communities still see art as a 'filler' subject.
Well, it's not like me to rant so I'm gonna stop there. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, its Mrs E from TX again. I had a pix of a classic chair (I think it was the Wassily Chair) pinned. I got a message from Pinterest that they had been notified by the manufacturer and they wanted it removed. If you are that passionate about having it removed you should contact Pinterest, send them a link to show that it is owned by you on your page and see what happens.

And yes, I am headed for Galveston in November to our state conference. This is the 2nd time I have got to go to state conference( I am only in my 6th year of teaching), and I am very excited. I was one of 12 art teachers chosen by my curriculum director to go to represent our district, which makes it even better, as the district is paying my way! =)

Kathy said...

You bring up some interesting points that I am just beginning to think about. I have shared the fact that I write a blog and the address to it with the art teachers from 4 other buildings, but I don't know that they take the time to look on blogs. The teachers that I am friends with also know that I have a blog and they look at it some of the time, but don't really have time for one themselves. I do not share it with the administrators as of yet. I doubt they'd be interested.