Erin Britain Idea Extraordinaire

I am a mom, wife, teacher, friend, and creator. I have a lot of ideas...so many that I can't use them all. So I like to share!

This is the heart of me. Thinking, creating, sharing, helping, serving.

Knowing this about myself has helped me clarify where and how I see my educational career going.

I had to think a while about what I wanted to do "when I grow up" and though it has changed a few times, I consistently come back to being passionate about teaching and helping others do what they want to do.

Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art
  • Master of Art in Teaching

Certifications:

  • EC-12 Principal
  • Secondary Art, lifetime
  • All-level Art
  • Generalist EC - 6
  • ESL supplemental

Completed: University of North Texas Educational Leadership program, as of May 12, 2017.

Current leadership activities:

  • RtI Organization
  • Curriculum Alignment
  • 7th Grade Team Lead
  • Data Driven Dialog book study
  • Thanks for the Feedback book study
  • Saturday School monitoring
  • Student Council Sponsor
  • Emergency Operations Planning Committee
  • Service Learning Review
  • Benchmark Data Analysis
  • Testing Coordination Assistance
  • Faculty Meeting Notes and Contributions
So my classroom may appear a chaotic mess to everyone who ventures in but this wall makes me happy. It reminds me of what I love about teaching and teaching art specifically. We often spread out and take over more space on our deck because this kind of work is difficult to contain. Creativity takes courage... Henri Matisse. He's right! But I have come realize that once I get past the fear of it being too "out there", it is when I feel I have been creative in my work is usually when I have the most success. I try to pass that on to my students, too. Why do it if it has been done before? Why do it if it is going to be boring? Why do it if you aren't going to give your best? Why do it if it doesn't mean anything to you or someone else?

My time at an International Baccalaureate World School has fueled a concept in my teaching that has been present but not predominant. I have been able to build curriculum that is meaningful and relevant by expecting students to consider real world ideas and problems.

  • Expressive "self portraits" incorporating items of sentimental value to the students after capturing the tone and mood with digital photography skills and techniques. No faces allowed!
  • Our Flea Market Flip repurpose and up-cycling challenge was developed after watching the show by the same name. In the unit, we discussed and researched excess waste around the world, alternatives to throwing things away, visited a recycling center, and a thrift store where the students selected products to give a new purpose and a better look or function.
  • Created table-scape decorations with music genre themes for a concert by fellow students.
  • Built a classroom business using digital photography and editing skills to promote, sell, and create demand for our photos.

Ways I serve my school community...

Committees: I love logistics. I love planning. I love thinking. I love sharing.

  • Emergency Operations Planning Committee
  • Progress Report Review Committee
  • Master Schedule Committee

Implementing Initiatives: I love DOING. I don't like to sit around. I don't like to watch others do something that I can also help do.

  • Creation of Fine Arts Day--huge endeavor!
  • Spelling Bee Judge
  • Secretary during faculty meetings
  • Saturday School monitor
  • 7th Grade Team Lead
  • Assist department members during crises
  • Recap presentation of Ron Clark Conference
  • Assisting elementary math incorporate visuals into concepts
  • New teacher mentor

Recognitions:

  • Magnify and Thanks a Latte awards several times for going beyond everyday expectations.
  • Retention Grant for dedicated service to school and staff.
  • Grant proposals for Fine Arts Day display furniture, photography business, clay unit.
  • Model Technology Classroom for integration of technology into curriculum.
  • Teacher of the Month a few times, Teacher of the Quarter

Professional Training & Learning

  • UNT Educational Leadership graduate course and internship
  • International Baccalaureate trainings in methodology/philosophy, visual art assessment, design curriculum and unit development
  • Ron Clark Academy teacher conference
  • National Art Education Association Convention seminars
  • Visible Learning
  • Many technology integration sessions
  • ...and 14 years of teaching students from kindergarten through seniors in college!

Technology Integration

I used to have a love/hate relationship with technology. Maybe I feared it would replace me by providing my students with tutorials. Maybe I thought it took the thinking and skill building out of art. I have reconciled with technology and find it to be a critical component of the learning in my classes that enhances my efforts, provides resources to my students, makes our day more productive and efficient, and helps give choices to my students when developing their work. It amplifies their critical and creative thinking!

For reference in art...
For summative pieces...
For expressing important concepts...
For helping with our process.

Project and problem based learning is at the heart of my classroom. My students are asked to address challenges, problems, and situations that interest them but more importantly, that they could realistically face. What can you do with an item to make it more appealing and useful instead of throwing it away where it fills up a landfill? What can you do to create the desired environment of your peers' performance at a concert? How can you best communicate with others to reach a shared goal?

Inquiry Based Learning allows my students to critically think about what they need to know, need to learn, and need to practice to be able to effectively express their intention. This could be anything from finding the best way to express the importance of the items from home they are holding on to or the best way to use the peer feedback of their work. My students ask a lot of great questions but my response is usually a question back at them, hopefully inspiring them to seek out how to answer questions for themselves.

Feedback is not helpful if students choose not to consider it...
...and critically thinking will help them decide when not to use feedback.
You won't know if you can until you try.
When you find the right solution, you'll know.

Thanks for taking the time to visit me in this wonderful, virtual world of my classroom!

Created By
Erin Britain
Appreciate

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