Leading from the middle semi-regular musings from NAEA's Middle Level Division

October 2017

Medley Presenters Needed!
2018 Award Nominations are Due October 1st!
Our Middle Level Book Chat

At the start of September, we hosted our second book chat.

Our selection was Austin Kleon's Steal Like an Artist.

The format borrowed from Jennifer Gonzalez's Cult of Pedagogy and its "Summer 2017 YA Book Club," and we had some lively discussions. And we had a few fun giveaways for randomly selected participants! We will continue to tweak and revise as we embark on our next selection.

If you have suggestions for future titles or articles, we'd love to hear from you. Hit us up online or via email at naeamiddlelevel@gmail.com

Njahs happenings
  • Our new Facebook NJAHS Sponsor Forum is LIVE! We're looking to connect with chapter sponsors, soon-to-be chapter sponsors, and folks just curious about the whole art honor society thing. Check us out!
Fabulous Faculty | A new Series

We are pleased to share this very first profile in our on-going series to showcase the "fabulous" work of members from across the division.


Diane Lally


WhICH qualities make YOUR art room a special place TO LEARN & CREATE?

I teach art in a room that I enjoy coming to each day. This room is special to me, my home away from home for the past 15 years! My middle school students enter my room for the first time, wide-eyed and enthusiastic about art class. My art room is colorful, filled with posters, reprints of famous artwork, a “big idea” board is used to inspire. I also have novelty items, like stuffed artist dolls from the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild and other objects displayed on tables and shelves around the room.

I am very organized, with numbered erasers and numbered art supply boxes for each student. My room is arranged with large butcher block tables set up in a horseshoe formation to facilitate group collaboration. The students sit on wooden stools.

There is always music playing as my students work on their projects. All styles of music -classical, new age, pop, and my favorite, “The Beatles” - fill the room to inspire my students.

Ms. Lally's Visual Art classroom space at South Fayette Middle School

Where do you find inspiration for new ideas & lessons?

Every year my school district has an “Operational Planning Theme." This year it’s Ingenuity & Flexibility. I identify a BIG IDEA for the school year, inspired by the district’s theme. My theme for the 2017-18 school year is Imagination in Motion.

I use pop culture and art history to fuel my lesson ideas. I find inspiration from TED Talks about Creativity and Imagination. I show movies to inspire my students prior to beginning an art project. For example, I am showing my students the movie, Labyrinth, to teach linear perspective. I play music to inspire students while they create an abstract painting, based on what they hear as they paint.

I am always thinking about new lessons I can try with my students. Teaching visual art affords me much flexibility to create innovative lessons and activities for my middle school students. I am excited that I have this opportunity to teach art…..it is my calling, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

Display of Ms. Lally's students' work

If you would like to recognize a Fabulous Faculty or share a bit about your own program, please contact our Eastern Regional Division Director, Leslie Flowers.

  • COLLABORATE. Our new professional community has officially launched, and it's off to a great start! This new platform aims to connect art educators from across NAEA in ways that support our professional development and bolster our organizational vibrancy. We encourage you to check it out and share your own perspectives/experiences. NAEA has complied a great FAQ page to help you get started!
  • MIDDLE LEVEL MEDLEYS. Our Seattle Convention plans are starting to take shape! Our division will be hosting a handful of workshops and activities, including a series of three "Middle Level Medleys." For an overview of the session topics and to volunteer to participate as a presenter in one of the medleys, please follow THIS LINK and complete the questionnaire.
  • CALL FOR PROPOSALS. NAEA Research Commission's Pre-Conference theme is Making Knowledge/Moving Knowledge. The commission has shared a call for presenters for their "Research Circles" pre-conference sessions. They'd love to get representation from our Middle Division. For more information, visit their GOOGLE FORM or email Jacqueline McElhany. Deadline is October 15th.
  • NAEA NEWS & NEWSLETTER. Have an idea for an upcoming issue of NAEA News or this Newsletter? We'd love to hear it. Email us at naeamiddlelevel@gmail.com and pitch your story ideas! Check out the latest issue of NAEA News, too.

Next month we'll be talking about Convention planning, getting involved with the Division, various social media endeavors, a check-in about COLLABORATE, NJAHS tips, and another "Fabulous Faculty" spotlight. See you then!

national art education association
  • NAEA Mission. The National Art Education Association advances visual arts education to fulfill human potential and promote global understanding.
  • NAEA's Statement on Diversity & Inclusion. NAEA is committed to the important role of visual art education in providing and promoting more just, inclusive learning communities in local and global contexts, and embraces diversity as an integral part of the mission of visual art education. The mosaic of our global humanity is enriched and expanded by the inclusion of all peoples and cultures and the art forms they create.


Created with images by namho - "Seattle Art Museum" • Free-Photos - "seattle washington city"

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