What’s in the works for SWart Studio?

I don’t have any art projects in the works because I’ve officially begun a graduate research study. I’m focusing on creative ways to present in mid 2021. I chose a topical subject that deserves more attention. These are slides of my proposal at a fall symposium. More soon!

UPDATE: I completed my study in late spring. I presented my findings at a closing symposium of the semester. Similar to last year’s, but more complex. The response of my presentation was incredibly positive and I’m proud to say I earned myself another A. It was a lot of work, but my findings will only benefit my own teaching.

To review my final slideshow click HERE.

Wrapping Up 2020 On a High Note

I spent the year teaching full-time, in and out of the art room, while working towards a graduate degree in Elementary Ed. Most of my time was spent at my desk at home or in a 5th grade classroom. December 18th, 2020, Lasell University finally wrapped up for winter break. I had gone round and round with a professor all semester. I apologized for being a pest, she responded that I wasn’t a pest, “You’re tenacious.” (Thanks?) And I had spoken to several classmates of growing concerns over our progress throughout the course. I wasn’t the only one who felt the professor was grading unfairly all term. I know I’d done a good job, but my end grade for an important class was a “B”. That’s not a terrible grade, I know. Besides, 6 As and 1 B at the end of the year wasn’t so bad at all. But if I’m telling my students grades shouldn’t matter … then I need to own up and take my own advice. Finally I decided, as of 2021, I will be judging myself based on my work progress. How much did I learn? What will I take away for my own classroom? To date I’ve learned a lot about the potential of a strong literacy program, the importance of culturally relevant pedagogy and LGBTQI inclusion, Gr. K-12. I have a little less than a year to go before earning my new degree and I think I need to refocus on what’s really important. 😃


UPDATE: It just so happened I needed to reference my unofficial transcripts. My grade for Literacy Instruction was changed to from a “B” to an, “A-“.

Meanwhile, checkout some of the work I’ve presented to students. It was a busy year and I am proud of my progress as an educator. Teaching in a hybrid model (some students in-person, others at home) has its challenges. Gone are the days of traditional snow days so there were times I had to get creative at home. This past Thursday was jam-packed as students helped me bake pies during our discussion of cultural family traditions (and I brought math and science into the equation), we discussed fire safety from my kitchen, went to the ballet in my living room, got a weather report from Ottomotto, and shared fitness tips and a mini-workout to motivate each other (and help Mr. Wilber burn off those pies). I’m working alongside some AMAZING and experienced teachers who have been my guides throughout the year. And if not for my family and friends’ support. none of this would have been possible.

A Halloween Celebration With Marvel Comics Alum!

Today, Friday, October 30th, 7 PM (EST) I’ll be joined by 90s Marvel Comics creators D.G. Chichester, Christian Cooper, Howard Mackie, Marcus McLaurin, and Gregory Wright. We’ll be discussing the Midnight Sons: Ghost Rider, Darkhold, Morbius, Nightstalkers & more. We also plan on looking at the Clive Barker list of titles published through Marvel’s imprint Epic Comics. It all happens here on this channel!

Check out this spooky trailer for more!

Teaching In the 2020-21 School Year, Day 4

So … it’s my first week of returning to school … except I don’t exactly have a school. Long story made short, my district is scrambling and multiple teachers are being moved or expected to teach at more than one school. My principal said he’s planning on my return, but because of the chaos of distance learning vs hybrid teaching across fifteen schools, there’s no guarantee. So while I wait for assignment this week I enrolled in a Healing Centered Engagement workshop. The idea is to not just help students dealing with trauma (of all kinds) by coping, but to give them tools to heal. I’m learning a lot and feel this will be setting me on a new path to explore as I continue adapting my curriculum for the future.

Meanwhile, I also started designing my new online classroom. When I’m done each image on the screen will link a student to a particular lesson, all art related work. I literally just pulled or cut images from my desktop to incorporate into the ‘room’.

UPDATE: Following the weekend, on Day 6, was officially assigned my school of the last five years. *PHEW* But I’m still waiting on updated hybrid schedule. All I know is that I have to zoom afternoons from the classroom.

UPDATE 2: Day 11 – Our first morning of zoom orientation went awry and several of us found ourselves playing musical classrooms as we searched for a quiet corner of the building in a matter of minutes. Tomorrow is in-person orientation for Cohort A.

UPDATE 3: Day 13 – Today was the first official day of school, working off a semi-hybrid schedule. My head was spinning all day and it still is. I found out Friday I’m splitting my time between classrooms. Then a leak overnight left me reassembling the classroom an hour before the bell. I made it with a minute to spare. I can’t believe I have to go back tomorrow and do (most of) it all again tomorrow.

Sending love, luck, and patience to ALL educators out there trying to make things work. 😓

Marvel Comics of the 1990’s – TOMORROW

If you missed my announcement from earlier this month, check out this trailer for tomorrow’s event! I can’t wait to discuss Marvel Comics of the 1990s with such an illustrious panel of guests!

Trailer Screen

Go to https://youtu.be/ZYWNqe1tZic Aug 28 at 7PM!

Marvel Comics In the 1990s!

I am SO excited for Aug. 28th! I’ll be sitting down for a virtual discussion with unsung creators of Marvel Comics, Marcus McLaurin, Gregory Wright, and D.G. Chichester. This trio had a hand writing/editing characters like Ee1iEOuXsAMzdAeLuke Cage, Daredevil, Deathlok, Silver Sable and more! I’m happy we’ll have a chance to explore this era of comic book history and their particular corner of the Marvel Universe. Missing will be creator, Dwayne McDuffie, who passed in 2011 and ask you consider donating to the Dwayne McDuffie Foundation, a non-profit organization looking to establish academic scholarships for diverse students. Check out https://youtu.be/nT59XiRG2eU or follow #90sMarvel on Twitter for upcoming details.

Major 2020 Update

Where has time gone? It’s been months and I’ve failed to update my website’s blog in forever, but as you might imagine — there’s a lot going on. And that was BEFORE the shelter in place hit Boston (and the rest of the world). In as few words as possible, here’s what I’ve been doing —

  1. I found myself outside the art room and teaching fifth grade more often that not. If gave me the confidence to start teaching subjects beside the fine arts. I applied and was accepted as a graduate student for a Master of Education (Elementary). It’s been a lot of work and very different than getting a grad degree in my twenties. I am learning a lot.
  2. Because everything shut down (except for supermarkets, hospitals, and schools) my team and I are teaching from home. I’ve been trying to incorporate arts integrated projects to support lessons my colleagues are sharing. I’m positing (slightly tweaked) week’s worth of lessons here until I fully update this site.
  3. I had a fun project concerning a forgotten super hero from the 80’s, but it’s been postponed indefinitely now that most publishers have suspended all activity for the foreseeable future. Here’s a tease of a work in progress.