I have taught Art classes with students from pre-K through 12th grade. I have also taught Gifted and Talented classes in grades 3-12. I have taught in urban, suburban, and rural settings, as well as public, catholic and Montessori classrooms. I have also had the luxury of learning organization through having 2 years of splits...meaning, I taught in one district in a classroom for 2 days and in another district (as a push-in teacher) for the other 3 days. Whew!
I have taught my art classes trying to balance art production (making something) with art history and sprinkle in some art criticism. As budgets are cut (you can see from my long list of experiences) and I've been moved around, I realized that the Arts are only kept if we make superior connections and validations. All of my classes now have great discussion of facts while they are creating, and I like to offer them as math problems to solve, connecting to their Social Studies classes, or even collaborate with the music, PE, health, ELA, (etc) teachers. We are tricky, are we really learning just Art? No way! We are learning life and how it's all knitted together, purl or knit? you choose.
I love hearing, "Oooh, we learned that in art class". "Really? you learned about the different cloud names, graphing & division, balancing a checkbook, or the history of chocolate...all in Art?" The look of excitement to explain more, on each of our cherubs faces, is worth it all! While I was finishing my undergraduate work at Michigan, I was elected to a three year position as the President of Student Chapters for the National Art Education Association. This was a fabulous experience!!
I completed my undergraduate work at Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Art Education and minors in Ceramics, Graphic Design and Native American History. Later, I completed my graduate work in Rochester, NY and completed a thesis on Visual Literacy. I wanted to research how to get students to talk more about their artwork and to defend why they make certain choices (color, composition, etc).
Presently, I am an Associate Professor in the Education Department and working towards my PhD.