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Art teachers have a very special connection in the art world. Teaching in public schools for 21 years I have really experienced the ways that art reaches kids in the classroom. Of course there have been lots of changes in those 21 years. The great thing about art is that every kid in the school comes to the art room. My philosophy has always been that my biggest job is teach those kids a love for art. It doesn't matter if they will produce great art their whole lives, but do they have some understanding of art in history and its place in their world? Can they look at a piece of work and have some understanding of what the artist may have been thinking or feeling?
My goal is that kids look back at school when they are finished and art is a part of their favorite memories. I recently met a cashier in a local business who was in their twenties. She looked at me and asked if I was the art teacher at Troutman Elementary years ago. When I said that I was she told me that I was her art teacher and she still had work that she made in art class on her refrigerator. I hope many of my students have those same kinds memories from class.
Teaching thousands of kids painting, drawing, weaving, computer design, etc. has been an adventure to say the least. There are many ways that a school system can utilize an art teacher. I have seen most of the ways over the years. Being the art teacher can mean teaching 1200 students kindergarten to fifth grade about once a week for around 50 minutes. It can be moving among several schools and teaching them for part of the year in a rotation of different arts classes. There are seemingly endless ways that art teachers are scheduled to see kids. I hope that through whatever ways I have shared the classroom with students that they carry a love for art in someway in their heart.
The work I have attached is some of my own that I share with students.
Herring, Carol Ann / Ralph
Hooper, Mary Louise
Lawing, Julia C.
Sminkey, Tom and Alyce
Weidman, John Lindsey
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