Teaching Art

| May 24, 2012

Sweet Briar’s teaching program is all about practical experience. After getting a feel for it her senior year as an undergrad, Ashley Winters ’11 (M.A.T. ’12) was ready for the real deal. She spent the past academic year at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg student-teaching for Kimberly Gibson-McDonald ’05 (M.Ed. ’08) in Kimberly’s art classes. Professor Jeff Frank observed her progress.

During my visits this spring, the students worked on a metal relief sculpture, a photo transfer project (Ashley’s first solo teaching endeavor) and hanging clay containers — one student’s life-size clay hand made a perfect, offbeat jewelry holder. One of the things Ashley learned was that, sometimes, the real challenge as a teacher isn’t just in how you teach. It’s also in how you deal with challenges. When some of her students’ photo transfers didn’t work right away, she struggled to stay calm. But by the end of my final visit, Ashley was in control of the classroom, having earned the students’ respect and attention. Teaching, she knows, is all about learning.

Here is a slide show and audio track that tell the story.

Category: Summer 2012