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Before moving to California in 2010, I was an art teacher in Wicomico County, Maryland. I have experience teaching pre-K through 8th grade. In addition, I taught summer art camp for an art institute and provided after-school art instruction for K-3rd graders. Prior to teaching full-time, I helped conceive and facilitate a grant that provided curriculum-based art lessons for at-risk students (grades 3-5) in a small group setting. ARTS (Art Requires Thinking Skills) was funded through the DARE program and provided documentation of the positive effects of hands-on learning for students who are having difficulty in the traditional classroom setting. I also taught puppetry in a public-funded summer enrichment program. My instruction is not project-based but designed to allow students to find their creative voices and express themselves. I believe that every single person can learn to draw once he/she learns how to really see and analyze the subject matter. One must practice and work at the creative process to become more confident and proficient. I never allowed students to throw away something they started. I worked with them as they figured out what they didn't like about it and what was required for them to fix it. I never judged their art work or put a grade on it. My students earned points by following criteria assigned from the county-wide curriculum guide and I assigned evaluations to make sure students understood what they were learning. I told my students that English, math, history and science can all be learned through art and I interwove all those disciplines plus theater, poetry, dance and music in my lessons. A couple years ago I was thrilled to tears upon learning that a former student won a full four-year scholarship to Maryland Institute of Art. He told me that I had been the one person who had given him the confidence to consider a career as an artist. I loved every minute of every day I have spent sharing my love of the arts.
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