Susan Riley | August 2013

The Journey toward Mastery

I wonder if Da Vinci or Beethoven ever considered themselves masters at the time they were creating their incredible work?  My guess is: probably not.  Most master artisans are never truly satisfied.  They recognize their talent, can be extremely self-confident, and know that they are at the top of their game.  But almost all artists feel as though they could do better.  Mastery is never a destination; it’s a journey.  Your personal mastery is just a measurement of where you are on your own pathway.

What strikes me as genius about this concept is that it can help us frame our purpose for working with students and helping them on their individual journeys. It’s not whether or not they arrive at mastery, but instead providing them with experiences and opportunities to hone their unique gifts toward mastering a concept or skill.  Our role as educators is to recognize where they are on their path and continue to guide them to their next adventure.

But what about us as professionals?  How can we continue to hone our teaching craft and become master educators?  We need a process as well to encourage dialogue, deepen understanding, and to collectively build our desire to grow.  That’s why we’re starting a new adventure with you: the Master Class series.

What is a Master Class?

Master Classes are small, intimate groups who focus on specific skills and techniques to help provide a launchpad for faster growth for any artist.  Typically, they are led by teachers who have expertise in a certain area and who work one-on-one with the participants.  As the teacher is working with an individual student, the rest of the class is participating by observing, asking questions, and taking notes that apply to their own pieces.  We wanted to provide something for you as educators that allowed you to grow in your craft while connecting you to pertinent information from the field.  It’s about connecting both the art and the science of good teaching.

Master Class Series

We are carving out a series of Master Classes to provide to you and any other educator out there who wants to grow and learn more deeply about a critical topic in education today.  Some will be hosted by the team here at EducationCloset.  Others will be led by outside leaders and innovators.  All will be relevant, exciting, and meaningful to your teaching practice.

Master Classes will be free to anyone who wants to attend. 

We don’t want to limit the learning! All Master Classes will be held through Google Hangouts via a live video feed, which will also be recorded.  So if you can’t attend live, you can still watch the video for each class at your convenience.  We’ll provide all registrants with instructions prior to the class for how to access and participate in the event.  You can ask the class facilitator questions, reference and use your own work as a guideline for the class, and engage with other educators from around the world.  In addition, all Master Classes will provide you with the option to order all of the presentation materials for only $15.  So you can walk away with samples, templates, readings, and resources provided directly by the class facilitator.  These materials aren’t mandatory for the class, but if you feel they are useful to your teaching practice, they are available to you at a very reasonable price.

We hope you’ll join us in this exciting new adventure and that these learning experiences provide us all with a positive, vibrant community of learners who are all on a journey to mastery.  To find out more about our Master Class series, including dates and registration information, please visit our Master Class webpage.

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan