Monday, March 21, 2016

#NAEA2016: the home edition

Like many of you, I was stuck at home over the weekend.  Alone, bored, with nothing to stimulate my professional development.  And to make it worse, I swear, off in the distance, I could hear the joyful chatter of the 5,000 art teachers from around the country who got to hang out together for #NAEA2016.  At first I was bummed, but then it dawned on me!  I didn't need to be sad or continue to stare longingly at the photos on Instagram.  I could play NAEA2016, the Home Edition!!!

I've been to my state conference a few times, so I have an idea of what it is like to go and chill with lots of cool art teacher people.  But from the pictures I saw on the internet, this was a whole different ball game.  There were a few special things I needed for my home version of national conference.  So I gathered all the supplies and had a blast going to conference.... all by myself.  

The pajama picture:

Of course, the first thing I needed to do was take a group shot in my art teacher pajamas.  As I was taking this picture, I tried to forget that I originally paid $32.00 for these stupid pajamas, but recently they were on sale at Target for about $8.00.  I had to buy the $8.00 pair too, because I felt like saving money.  I was supposed to save that cheap pair for "someday," but when I went to take this picture the $32.00 pair was dirty.  So now I have two pairs of art teacher pajamas in rotation. 
Don't you hate it when they choose the group photo that you're making a horrible face in?

The Art Teacher Swag:

Everyone on the Internet is talking about the awesome giveaways they get from the vendors.  I knew that if I was going to do my home conference right, I too was going to need a bag of free art materials.  I asked my daughter to give me some of her art supplies, because she sure doesn't use them.  Not since she found out that mommy's Prismacolor markers work so much better than her Crayolas.  Anyway, Alice gave me a plastic Wal-Mart bag with a half dead sharpie and a few broken crayons.  Also, when I went grocery shopping on Sunday, the grocery store was giving out free samples of their brand of dish soap.  SCORE!  I put that in the bag too. 

That sharpie has something odd glued to the top of it.

The "I know you from the Internet" Selfie:

When you go to conference you get to take tons of selfies (usies?) with cool people you met on the internet.  I wanted in on this, but since everyone was in Chicago and I was not, I had to get creative.  I drew myself an internet art teacher.  Before I took the selfie, I noticed that everyone in the pictures had all these ribbons attached to their name tags.  I just threw some post it notes on myself and called it a day. 

She runs a successful blog/ art studio/ and works 70 hours a week. I don't..... Aren't we cute?

The comic con:

Apparently, there was a Comic Con in the same hotel as the art teacher conference.  I had to dig these old action figures of my brother's out of the attic to get this picture.  (Edit: I don't have a brother, these are mine.  Second edit: I didn't have to dig these out of anywhere.  They were right on my bedside table.) 

OMG Star Wars!!!

Professional development:

From what I read on the Art Teachers Facebook page and what I saw on Instagram, every session was awesome and amazing.  Kidding aside, I totally believe that.  Also, news flash, being an art teacher is the best job in the world. if I didn't know that.  Seeing all these people being excited about teaching and exchanging ideas made me want some professional development too.  So while I was washing dishes, where I may or may not have used some of that free soap, I listened to AOE's Art Ed radio podcast.  It was about color theory, and they talked about those shrimp that can see like a million more colors than humans can.  I never thought I would be jealous of a shrimp.  The pod cast was inspiring and the dishes got done.  Win win!

I only buy dining ware in cool or warm colors. 

The Van Gogh Exhibit:

There was a big Van Gogh Exhibit going on while everyone was in Chicago.  I love that artist, so I wouldn't want to miss that.  Once again, I called upon my daughter for help.  We created our own Van Gogh Exhibit, using Van Gogh stickers, cardboard and paint.  We had a great time making this and our, I mean her, dolls had a great time viewing it.  It got me thinking about what a cool assessment project this could be for my sixth graders, and then I thought about a Van Gogh project I want to do, and then I thought about how I could tie Van Gogh in with color theory.  BAM!  My brain was making connections. Isn't that exactly what art conferences are for? 
That's my Princess of Power doll, thankyouverymuch.

I had a wonderful time this weekend at #NAEA2016, the Home Edition.  I want to thank everyone who shared their pictures on social media.  It was delightful to watch you guys! It is so important to be able to connect with people that share your profession.  Because state conference has always been such a magnificent experience for me, I can't even imagine how cool National conference must be.  Ok, I can imagine, and that's why I want to go so badly!!!


  Hopefully, I will be at #NAEA2017, the real life edition!


  1. Absolutely loved it! (Now I got to participate in both the virtual and at home version, but I won't comment on which one was the best.)

  2. Haha! LOVE your staycation conference! Art teachers are REALLY GOOD at making stuff up! Kudos!

  3. You...are...awesome! I absolutely loved reading this & I even had to share this with my honey. I was also watching all the #NAEA2016 photos with envy from home. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is an abolitwly adorable blog post! Keep on blogging; you are good at it! Next year you can be in the photo with all of us bloggers at the AOE booth at the convention in NYC! Yay!

    1. Oops, typo! That crazy word in the first sentence should be "absolutely"!

  5. I really enjoyed this! Thanks for sharing your voice and the fun of NAEA home edition!

  6. This is so wonderful! Nice post, Very clever!

  7. This is fabulous- I'm laughing out loud!

  8. Love it!! Totally get it! Was doing something similar editing friends pictures and inserting myself! :). You rock...can't wait to see more posts!!

  9. I was fortunate enough to attend NAEA16. (I was a first time attendee.) You nailed it! Keep are a natural!!!!

  10. I was fortunate enough to attend NAEA16. (I was a first time attendee.) You nailed it! Keep are a natural!!!!

  11. LOVE this! Now i'm following you!

  12. You are officially my new favorite internet art ed person!!

  13. This is too cute and funny. You captured all the experiences perfectly from home.

  14. I loved this....#1: I never made it to the National Conference (now retired)
    #2: You have my same spitfire and sarcasm!
    #3: Great sense of humor and determination!

  15. Umm, this is brilliant. Hilarious and so, so well done. And thanks for sneaking our podcast in there :)


  16. You are too funny!! I hope you continue to post with your satirical wit and humor! You gave me my first belly laugh today��

  17. Thank you for making me laugh - 3 times today!

  18. Thank you for making me laugh - 3 times today!