“I’ve been a fan of IAS for many years and when the opportunity came up to apply to be part of the first cohort of like-minded people working towards an Arts Integration Specialist certification, I jumped at the chance. Lucky for me I was selected. I was thrilled to be a part of this program and went into it anxious to learn and grow.
The program has offered me more than I could’ve imagined. My current teaching position is as a drama/literacy and arts integration specialist. I’ve held this position for 7 years. Prior to that I was an elementary classroom teacher for 16 years. I work at an 18 year old magnet school that has the magnet theme of arts integration. Having been a school that uses this approach for 18 years, spicing up the veterans, informing the newbies, and creating an overall motivational place to work for both teachers and students needed some tweaking. Over the past 7 years in my current role, I have made some changes to our program approach, implemented new ideas, and helped to reignite a collaborative environment. However, thanks to the IAS certification program, this current school year has seen the biggest impact on ideas, collaborations, and programs.
I have learned so much regarding the nuts and bolts of arts integration, that I’ve found myself inspiring others when sharing what I’ve learned. I’ve done long and short presentations, modeled lessons and strategies, collaborated on the creation of lessons and units, listened to and responded to the needs of my staff and have succeeded in bringing our magnet theme back to the forefront. The certification process has caused my brain to spark ideas (sometimes I can’t keep up with the sparks!) and expanded my love of teaching using arts integration. It has confirmed for me that this approach brings teachers and students together allowing time to practice true collaboration.
I’m grateful to be a part of the certification program. The sprints offer what needs to be learned in bite size increments that allow for deep learning and offer ample time for project development that authentically represents the topic learned. I am a better teacher because of this program and soon I’ll hopefully be able to say with conviction that I am officially a certified Arts Integration Specialist.
Thank you for wanting to know my story.”
– MARLY PARKER