You Don't Have To Do It Alone:
Initiating and Sustaining Collaboration
So, say you are intrigued by this notion of arts integrated teaching. You think it's important for kids; you think it's valuable for your development as an educator, but you are concerned that you can't do it alone with all the other demands on your time, attention, and energy. You don't have access to an artist at the moment, and you aren't confident of your ability to read music, dance, act, or paint. This chapter's title, “You Don't Have to Do It Alone, ” is intended to give you some suggestions for where to turn for support, ideas, and inspiration.
This chapter helps us take a moment to see arts integration as part of a bigger picture beyond the individual classroom. First, we introduce you to some unexpected allies. Then we describe what arts integration planning might mean for a whole school community. We do this by examining how a scope and sequence of arts integration is a useful talking tool among teachers and artists, as well as parents and administrators. Then we discuss the design and evolution of partnerships, providing a look at one partnership—the ETA/Muntu Arts in Education Consortium—through the eyes of its participants.
You have unexpected allies waiting for you at every level of the education and arts communities, hoping for your help as much as you are hoping for theirs. In fact, we almost named this book Unexpected Allies because we believe so much in the power of collaboration to do this important work.
Begin with the students. Young people, when given access to materials and a little guidance on structuring time and space, are often more than ready to become your artist partners. We have seen a group of middle-school students transform a regu