There Are No Rules For Art: Workshop led by Eye to Eye staff is a big hit at Deeper Learning 2023!
On March 28, 2023, our Near-Peer Mentoring Program Manager, Carly Priest and Near-Peer Program Coordinator, Matthew Pashby had the pleasure of leading a four-hour workshop at Deeper Learning 2023 in San Diego, California. The workshop “There Are No Rules For Art: Supporting Neurodiverse Learners Through SEL-Embedded Art Projects” featured the curriculum and techniques they’ve developed for the Near-Peer Mentoring Program. More than 20 educators from a variety of educational backgrounds attended. Participants were invited to connect, think critically, and dive deep into a sample project that is very successful with our Eye to Eye community. The project asks them to create 3D models of “Ideal Workshops” that might exist in their classrooms. Using colorful paper, small boxes, and loads of other supplies, they imagined the ideal environment for students to have inclusive learning experiences.
After the conference, we caught up with Carly and Matt and discovered that the workshop was a huge hit! There was a big turnout, and participants were very engaged every step of the way. In response to a few questions, they shared details about their reflections and learnings from the event, summarized below.
How would you describe the Deeper Learning conference?
The Deeper Learning Conference was an amazing experience! Educators and leadership teams from schools across the country (and globe!)researchers, and featured speakers came together for three days of hands-on, energized learning and community. There were breakout sessions and opportunities for educators to share knowledge.
It was so energizing to see the workshop spaces that attendees created as part of our ideal workshop art project and to see the intentionality of their designs come to life creatively. We had a really fun group of participants, and loved the project-based learning foundation of the DL conference!”
What were the attendees at your workshop like, and why do you think your session appealed to them?
We had a fantastic group of participants in our session, and a young adult community leader who assisted with and attended our workshop. All of our participants were educators, counselors, or administrators in a K-12 setting, and most specifically, work with neurodivergent (ND) youth and young adults in inclusive classroom spaces. Our workshop had a very diverse group of attendees, bringing valuable learnings from many different perspectives and years of experience working in support of ND communities and young adults.Many session attendees shared that they hoped our session would better equip them to lead inclusive classroom spaces for ND students while extending opportunities for project-based learning to engage learners of all needs.
What were the learnings and/or highlights for you?
It was incredible to hear about how educators are focused on creating spaces of belonging for ND students and to learn of the many strategies to cultivate belonging that attendees shared. I especially loved hearing our participants share how they lean into the cultural experiences of their communities in collaboration with their students to shape spaces of belonging in their classrooms. Everyone was extremely open and ready to discuss their experiences as educators. It created a comfortable environment that fostered exceptional learning opportunities.
This was a really eye-opening experience for myself. Outside of working with Eye to Eye as a Chapter Leader, I do not have a professional background in education. I was able to learn so much about different schools from across the country in such a short amount of time. I was also so impressed by our participant’s level of engagement and willingness to share during our group shareouts. Four hours is a long session, but our participants had such a deep interest to learning about our program.”
Carly and Matt are two of several Eye to Eye staff that design and lead engaging learning experiences yearly. If you are interested in learning more about our programs or partnering with us, please get in touch!
We are always lookingfor opportunities to connect with our community to share knowledge, collaborate and learn new things. Follow us at @e2enational on Instagram and Facebook for updates, and please let us know about future opportunities!