Teachers are Artist
Integrate: To combine (one thing) with another so that they become a whole.
Combine, merge, unite, blend
(Painting created during our Disrupting the Norm conference session.)
Integration. When you look up the word integrate, the term is defined as to bring together, incorporate (parts) into a whole; to unite or combine.
When I think of these words, my mind begins to imagine an artist. Artists are masters of mixing, combining, and blending together different colors, materials, and textures to create their masterpieces. They are meticulous and purposeful with their use of colors and materials. Every brush stroke has a purpose and intention.
Now you may be wondering what artists have to do with teaching? In our opinion, a lot. We believe that teachers are artists. They bend, mold, and create not with clay and paintbrushes, but with content, students, materials, and resources. Teachers create masterpieces called learning every single day! Teachers are creative and imaginative people who have been stifled and put into a box for too long. We are wanting to bring back teachers’ creativity, fun, and excitement through multi-level and multi-subject integration, showing them that with integration their masterpieces of learning will be amplified tenfold.
It is important to remember that integrating content can take many forms. Many times when others hear of integration within the realm of education they automatically think of technology or a component of the arts. But integration can be and is so much more than that! Integrating content in education can and should include technology and arts, but also science, social studies, math, reading, writing, and grammar. It is integrating the hard and soft (interpersonal) skills students need to be successful in the classroom and in life, such as collaboration, problem solving, analyzing information, communicating with others, and using their creativity to do something amazing.
Another important thing to note about integrating content in the classroom is that it has to be purposeful. Integrating content is not pulling a non-fiction book for a read aloud and calling that integrating science or social studies. Just as an artist has a purpose for every brush stroke and color choice, so does content integration. It takes thought, effort, and planning to ensure that content integration is being purposefully and effectively, but the time spent planning and ensuring that is being done, will be time well spent and time that will be used more effectively while delivering instruction.
Now, you may be wondering how is that even possible? Well… that is what we are here to help you with. We want you to see the power of full purposeful integration in the classroom. We want you and your students to experience the excitement, the engagement, the fun, and the effectiveness of purposeful multi-subject integration in the classroom.
If you have read this through so far, that last paragraph may have you scratching your head and rocking your world possibly a little bit. Questions are probably flooding your head. Thoughts of “That can’t be done” are surfacing in the back of your mind. You might even be thinking about putting this book down. But we are here to encourage you and to show you that it can be done. We are not here to walk along a path that has already been created for us. We are here to disrupt the norm in education. We are here to make our own path. We are here creating our own pathways because we have students who live in a world completely different from what we grew up in and in a world that is ever changing, and ever so quickly. We are here to disrupt the norm in education that we have all grown so accustomed to.
Are you ready to start on your own path for your students and for yourself? Are you wanting a change? Are you ready for some disruption?
Do you feel ready to get started but are wanting some more coaching and support along the way? Don’t hesitate to get a hold of us at email@example.com or follow us on any of our social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, @IntegratEDk12.
Also, for more individualized and in depth learning on multi-subject integration in the classroom, Check out our IntegratED cohort starting August 2022! LIMITED spots will be available!
Megan and Kara are educational leaders, professional development experts, and current classroom teachers who are improving the way instruction is being delivered in the standard classroom.