Anderson Community Schools
Graduated Spring 2006
Major: Art Education, K-12
As an art teacher for students in kindergarten through third grade, I make lots of watercolors, finger paintings, and small clay pinch pots on a daily basis. Recently I have received grants to help purchase art supplies in my classroom, to teach about art from different cultures, and to purchase warm winter clothes for students in need. My art students put on an art show every fall and spring.
While I was a student in the Department of Art+Design, a big decision faced me: studio art, or art education? I went back and forth, struggling whether to make my own art full-time or to help others learn to make art, believing that my own work would be put on the “back burner.” After careful consideration I felt my own skills and giftings were leading me to share how precious art-making is and how this process can connect us with ourselves, each other, and the world at large. I have been teaching for six years and still get excited at the little moments when a five-year-old learns that blue and yellow make green, or when an older student is "satisfied" with the outcome of a self portrait.
Some of the best preparation I received as an art education major was the field experience. Classroom observations, conversations with other art teachers, and student teaching were invaluable in preparing me to teach. These experiences became key opportunities for me to learn about classroom management, use of supplies, and how to make quality lesson plans.
In my own time I explore painting, mixed media collage, and jewelry design. I have come to learn that my art practice does not have to be on the "back burner" at all. In fact, it has been vital to continue creating artwork alongside my students. My students often use their art work to work through personal issues and struggles. We take risks together and practice our mantra from Henri Matisse, "Creativity takes Courage.”