"Art Opens Doors." That motto is painted on the outside of my door, and it serves as a reminder to the students entering each day that art is found and used everywhere. Our students dream big and want to create great things; however, finding the funds for these creations is sometimes a challenge.
I teach in my home town of Casa Grande, Arizona, in the same community where I was born and raised.
In fact, I attend the same middle school that I attended 30 years ago, and used to teach in the same room where I took art! Our city has grown tremendously in the last ten years and built several new middle schools.
However, our school was built in 1957 and although it was maintained well and has gone through many renovations, it was time for a new school, which was completed in 2018. It is located in the heart of town and we serve a diverse population of 6th-8th grade students.
Despite our many hurdles on campus, we have a district-wide STEM program on site as well as a Title I program at school that qualifies all of our students for free breakfast and lunch daily.
Although we have a new middle school this year, funding for supplies is almost non-existent. As the only art teacher for grades 6-8, I plan on exposing my students to as many art forms and mediums that I can while I have them for a semester. Students are introduced to watercolors and tempra paint, but I would love for them to experience painting with acrylics or oils on an actual canvas. In addition, I would like them to practice with charcoals, professional colored pencils, ink, sculpting clay, and tin-work just to name a few. I hope they learn to love art as much as I do and consider it a career choice in their future!
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