LEANING ON EACH OTHER: The Beginnings of OATK12
By Trina Harlow, PhD, University of Central Arkansas, Founder and Co-Director of OATK12
Posted on August 10, 2021; written on April 30, 2020.
Online Art Teachers K-12 is excited to reveal our NEW BLOG! In the coming months, we hope to bring a rich array of art education insight and creativity to you! Team leaders will write blogposts, as well as some of our group members. In this very first OATamental Ideas Blog Post, I’d like to document the short history of OATK12. The following article was written on April 30, 2020 and provides an early glimpse of how OATK12 started. We will update the historical progression of OATK12 through 2020 and 2021 in future blog posts. I thank Bob Reeker, OATK12 Co-Director, Dr. Sarah Ackermann, Kate Miller, Danny Bryant, Christine Wellman, Holly Bess Kincaid, Caitlin Johns, and Jane Montero for their service as team leaders to OATK12, and we miss our dear friend and colleague Randy Robart – one of the founding team leaders of OATK12 – who we lost suddenly in June of 2021. While today OATK12 has almost 20,000 members, below are memoirs noted when OATK12 was just one month old:
Found object art, such as the Snowman Challenge that I conjured up, became a part of 2020 pandemic remote instruction. As art teachers moved rapidly to delivering remote instruction from their homes, choice and using objects readily available around the home helped art education make the transition.
The best colleague a person can have! Bob Reeker!
The memories of sitting at my home office desk in March of 2020, while making videos for OATK12 to support and lift up my fellow art teachers, is a vivid memory that I'll have the rest of my life . . . . of an uncertain time with a certain goal for colleagues. OATK12 became an place of comfort for members during early pandemic teaching.
In the below Image, OATK12 team leaders wished our members a happy holiday season. Top row, left to right: Trina Harlow, Bob Reeker, Caitlin Johns, Jane Montero. Middle row, left to right: Christine Wellman, Kate Miller, Danny Bryant. Bottom row, left to right: Randy Robart, Sarah Ackermann, Evan Thomas, and Holly Bess Kincaid.