Proposal Submitted

It is done.pic

The proposal for Fund For Teaches that I have been working on diligently for the last three months has been submitted!

So many people stepped up to help me edit my ideas and through the writing process, I learned a lot about myself, my community, Thailand and my peers.

It was so exciting to discuss my proposal with others and not only got helpful feedback but I also to learned about each person and their individual outlooks on mindfulness and education. I hope to interview some of them in order to start the online video blog dialogue -coming soon!

I can’t wait to see what happens and am counting down the days until I find out. I am prepared, whether I get accepted or not, to continue pursuing mindfulness art education practices and posting information I discover here.

 

ASMR Art Car and Mindfulness Education

artcar

Yesterday we officially signed up for the Houston Art Car Parade. My students created the drawing above and described the car with the following:

“A majestic bucktoothed unicorn with a beautiful rainbow mane and sparkly accents that promote awareness of ASMR. ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is an important stress reliever for many people, helping to relieve sensory overload in people with anxiety as well as generally being calming. The unicorn’s name is Arthur Simmons Myrtle Robinson as a joking meaning of the acronym. Also, as part of the process, we created an ASMR Instagram to promote awareness of the benefits that ASMR brings.”

@artcarasmr on Instagram

I can not express again how proud I am of my art car club students for incorporating ASMR into their car concept. It came about because many of the students have experience with anxiety and ASMR helps them find relief. What an amazing accidental fusion opportunity for Issues Based learning and Mindfulness Education! I can’t wait to see where this car goes from here!

On the note of mindfulness art education exploration, I continue to research this in preparation for my grant submission. I have learned so much about the positive effects of mindfulness education and am so excited to keep learning more. Talking to my friends and family about my research has spurred beautiful conversations about what mindfulness and mindful education means to them. The path to personal peace is so beautiful, and I realize from these conversations that whether realized or not, friends and family are already using mindfulness tactics that they learned on their own or from experience. Most of them agree that they wish they knew these techniques sooner in life and could benefit from more.

Sometimes when I have mentioned mindfulness education, the initial response is not positive. There seems to be a belief among some that mindfulness is only relatable to certain religious groups. Addressing this concern and sharing more about mindfulness usually brings these folks around. It reminds me though to play devil’s advocate, as one does when researching something. What arguments could come up from students that reject it? Will students respond well to mindfulness education or reject it as another requirement? These questions and more will be answered in the blog posts to come!

Please feel free to respond with your thoughts below. Maybe share your experience with mindfulness and education? What is working? What isn’t?

First blog post

Beginnings are important. Plato says “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” This post marks the start of many things; to name a few, this blog, a new year and our first art car.

This blog came about because of multiple requests from other art educators for shared lesson plans and my pursuit of the Fund For Teachers grant. As an art teacher, I understand how free or discounted resources can be vital to a program. The internet is a crazy, fantastic place to find these resources, but not every teacher has the time to hunt out the quality ones. With this site, I want to create a community where vetted resources about from everywhere, including my travels. I have decided after getting hooked on wanderlust that I will visit every continent before I die. I knew I wanted to start in Thailand. After I had gushed about this to a friend of mine, she told me about the Fund For Teachers opportunity. I have little experience with grant writing but a 5,000$ scholarship to pursue educational research where ever you dream…brain explodes! Speaking of free resources! My proposal inspired me to write this blog where I can record my research discoveries. Whether I get the grant or not, I now see that this blog is a must. Just writing this introduction reminds me how much I love to write about the things I love and share it with people that understand.

As for the art car, see the photo above, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to help facilitate an art car. My father and his brothers owned a used car lot near the Houston Heights area. Every year he would donate car parts to local art car artists and one year I had the opportunity to help an artist named Mark Bradford. The high school me geeked out when he asked me to skate next to the Manta art car! I used car parts to finagle my art car Manta costume and strolled wide-eyed through crowds of eclectic Houston artists and lit up cars that decorated the night drag. I met some folks though my grad school professor and an organization called Grassroots Art in Action that invited my students and me to participate with their car and create bike sculptures for the ride along. After two years helping out the other group, I decided it was time for us to get our own. I reached out to the art teacher community and as fate would have it someone stepped up with a car donation three weeks after I sent out the request! My students dove in and are planning amazing things for our car. I have a dedicated group of 5-7 students that come after school twice a week to work on the car. Just today I also got an email from a local restaurant that they want to help sponsor our car!

Beginings …are often messy and beautiful. Like the car above they may start out broken or used but this I think is where the greatest potential lies. I am excited to see where these beginings lead or what other opportunities they will lead to.