At my mother’s insistence I received my B.S. degree in Art Education from the State University of New York at New Paltz. (At the time I would have preferred to major in sculpture). It wasn’t until eighteen years after graduating that I applied for a job in this field, when financial stability became a priority.
Over the course of the next twenty-six years I taught elementary school art to Kindergarten through fifth grade in New Jersey public schools, averaging 450 students a week. This sojourn in education was a learning experience for me, as well as an endurance test.
Constructing a curriculum that met the standards of my district while at the same time making it interesting for me to execute was a challenge. My solution was to introduce deep art ideas, even for my youngest students, and to find ways to simplify the presentation to be age appropriate.
Each project needed to be initially demonstrated, honing in on important skills and exploring the possibilities inherent in the materials. Each project had parameters, yet was open-ended enough for individuality to be expressed. Artwork created by this age group is unself-conscious, deliberate, and thoughtful. The boldness in composition and directness of emotions is often very moving.
In this small selection you will find examples of student artwork made over the course of my teaching career.