Why are you an educator? Why do you love teaching?
My very first informal art teaching gig was with a great organization called ArtStart. They bring art classes to children living in city shelters. At the time, I was thinking about returning to school for my master’s degree but I wanted to see if I indeed liked teaching visual art. I was scheduled to start teaching my class at a family shelter on Pearl Street near the Seaport on September 13, 2001…just two days after the tragedy at the World Trade Center. Showing up for that class, although difficult, became the catalyst for my love of teaching. Helping students process emotion, think about their world differently, or just express themselves is why I love to teach art.
What makes the School of the Future experience different from others you’ve had?
After teaching as a museum educator and with various after-school organizations, I was very lucky to find a home at School of the Future. Both the administration and the parents’ association have been incredibly supportive over the years. The arts here have grown from one art class plus a part-time digital art class for some of the grades to a full-time visual art and drama program for all grades sixth through twelfth. There is an annual Winter Arts Showcase celebrating our students’ work that includes an art exhibitions and film and video screenings. My goal as an art teacher has been to make students who are hesitant in making art (specifically drawing/painting), those who don’t feel they are “good” at art, more comfortable. For those who are comfortable, skilled artists, I try to push them to take more risks in art making. We experiment with traditional as well as non-traditional materials in my art room. Ultimately, I want all my students to understand that art is about making other people, their “audience,” see something from a new perspective.