Trevor Bryan is an elementary art teacher in Jackson Township NJ. He is the creator of The Art of Comprehension which is an approach to teaching comprehension and other academic skills through viewing and responding to artworks. He is also co-founder of the education blog Four o’clock Faculty.
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GETTING TO KNOW TREVOR
Looking back at your career, what is one thing that a parent, student or peer has said makes you unique as a teacher?
Fusing art and academics together.
When and why did you decide to become a teacher?
It was not until high school when I realized I really enjoyed some of my classes and wanted to go into teaching.
What about teaching gives you the greatest fulfillment?
Advocating of the arts. I have been able to bring students into the academic conversation that has sort of been on the sidelines.
Please share with us a story of a time when you got to know a student beyond their academic performance where you think you made a significant impact in their life.
I had a student that really struggled fitting in when he was in the classroom. After reading a book called “The Dot”, he was able to let out his frustration and really have a voice in the classroom.
PERSONALIZED LEARNING JOURNEY
What is it about the personalized learning pedagogy you believe will have the greatest impact on education as we know it today?
When students are exploring their interests, it opens up for more conversation and collaboration.
Can you tell us a story of a time that you persevered through a then-challenging situation which now serves as a great life lesson?
It took a long time for me to figure out how to teach art more efficiently and talking to students about art.
SECRETS TO SUCCESS
If you’ve transitioned from a traditional command and control classroom to a personalized learning classroom, what about that journey was the most difficult?
The hardest part was figuring out the framework to use to help students make smart decisions.
What one strategy would you suggest teachers in personalized learning environments apply every day that would result in powerful outcomes?
You have to listen and create space for conversation and listen to those conversations.
Imagine you are standing in front of a room full of educators – just like you when you started your personalized learning journey. They too have fears, worries and doubts as they struggle to find their footing. What are one to two key things they should focus on to ensure success?
Do not expect perfection, expect practice.
Would you please share with our audience your “i am ME.” statements?
i am exploring. i am creating. i am learning. i am sharing. i am living.