On July 12, I woke up at 4 am to get things ready to board my flight to Boston, MA so I could attend the 2015 TAB Institute. I would be in Boston for 6 days–living, breathing TAB (Teach FOR Artistic Behavior), surrounded by others who felt the same as me. It was a week-long intensive look into the world of TAB–what TAB is, how TAB came to be, how to implement, how to assess, how to advocate, I could go on.
By Monday night, I knew I had found my tribe. We all knew it. It was the most amazing thing to me to be surrounded by others who just got it; who just felt the same way I did. I had talked to some on the interwebs, but to meet them and talk face to face…it was a whole other thing. A better thing.
I got to meet several of my mentors. In particular, Kathy Douglas and I finally got to meet face to face. And, if it wasn’t for her suggestion of me going to Boston this summer, I probably wouldn’t have made it. So, thank you Kathy for the suggestion. I also got to meet Ian Sands. Granted we met briefly in New Orleans, but this week in Boston, I really got to meet Ian. Ian (and his colleague Melissa Purtee) have had major influence on me and my switch to TAB. I am so grateful to have stumbled upon them. So, for me to converse with Ian and work through things TAB related, and to become (dare I say it) friends with him, is a big deal to me.
Our other faculty members included Julie Toole. She is so much fun and if you want to know how to advocate for your TAB program, she is the woman to go to. Clyde Gaw was there. His Facebook profile picture makes him out to be this scary guy. He is the complete opposite of this. He is fun and a big child and has this amazing way of connecting his vast knowledge with what/how artists act and the choices they make. Lastly, the woman that made it all come together, Diane Jacquith was a wealth of knowledge. The week ran so smoothly and she had set up an amazing group of mentors, guests (including George Szekely and his daughter, Ilona) and wonderful places to visit, like the Museum of Fine Arts and Fenway Studios.
I can’t leave out the people who I came to love while I was there. While I clicked with everyone, I want to give a shout out to my crew that just made the trip over the top—Liz (Leg Day), Andy (Canadia), and Hillary (iPad). Thanks guys. You accepted me for who I was and celebrated it. I am normally a shy person around new people, but you guys made me feel at home.
Enough with the mush.
Breaking into two groups, we met in tracks first. Track 1 was for those completely new to TAB. Track 2 was for those that had practiced TAB for at least a year. This is where I was. We also met as grade levels–elementary, middle school, and high school. My HS group was made up of 4 of us, Liz, Meta, Kathy, and myself. Of course, Ian was our guide. This was most helpful to me. The conversations were lively and honest. We talked about assessment and grading and how we set up an open studio without centers. Sometimes we didn’t even notice how long they went on.
Tasks from our Task Party
I have come to point in this blog post where I just don’t know what to say. I have been trying to decompress it all once the haze of the TAB utopia wore off. I have been trying to figure out how to sum it all up and write about it for over a week now. And, honestly, I just can’t. So, instead I will end the post with some pictures of this amazing PD.