By TAB Board Members
To maintain the open and accepting character of Teaching for Artistic Behavior as the organization continues to grow, the time has come for us to establish group norms. TAB classrooms are places educators and students create space to explore themselves and their world through artistic investigation and artmaking. When the student is the artist, the work reflects their own reality. This reality is all their own and, although peers and teachers may have similar experiences, each student creates in a way that is authentic and can provide a window into another person’s world. This authenticity brings the need for guidelines and norms around talking about the art students create. Some form of group norms have existed in TAB classrooms for years, giving voice to students and allowing artists to explore classic and contemporary art while asking important questions and challenging ideas. The group norms TAB teachers use in the art studio must bounce out into the TAB community on a larger scale.
Implementing the following guidelines will help this group of thousands of teachers continue to uphold our values of inclusivity, collaboration and sharing of resources by creating an atmosphere where all members feel safe, welcome and valued. It is the vision of TAB’s Board of Directors that these group norms will guide our conversations and while holding ourselves accountable to high standards of inclusivity and centering our work on supporting students, teachers and families.
While practitioners of TAB are united by a common pedagogy, we come from vastly different situations; urban and rural, large budgets and small, veteran practitioners and those just beginning to question conventional art education, as well as different races, ethnicities and religions. We believe that our differences are part of our strength. It is our hope that these group norms will help us all approach conversations when there is difference from a place of learning and understanding, while also realizing that any form of intolerance does not belong in our community. We hope you will join us in striving for an equitable community by embracing these norms.
Thank you for reading.
Carla Bolden, Christine Phillips, Cindy Foley, Clark Fralick, Clyde Gaw, Diane Jaquith, Jen Rankey, Jessi Ruby, Julie Toole, Kathy Douglas, Melissa Purtee, Pam Ehrenreich, Ron Gresham, Roni Rohr, Stacey Parrish, Susan Weinman,