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"Some people only dream of meeting their favorite artists. I teach mine!"

student artwork at our 2017 Young Author Conference

I found this quote on a t-shirt design a while back. It truly describes how I feel! Whether at school or at the art studio, I am constantly amazed by the talent and creativity of children! I am so inspired by the uniqueness of young artists. Over the past 10 years, I have learned so much from them. They aren't afraid to take risks or act boldly. They have a special way of showing their enthusiasm and unique personality in each piece of art they create. I have taught students from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and I have found that art has a special way of celebrating diversity, while at the same time, creating unity within a group.

When I first became an elementary art teacher, I was terrified! I felt that I lacked one very important quality: creativity! It was not long after the school year began that I realized my students didn't need to be taught how to be creative. They already knew how to express their thoughts and ideas in such unique ways.

My mom, who is also an elementary art teacher, was and still is an amazing mentor for me! She taught me the importance of celebrating each student's creativity. Teaching techniques and art history can be done in a way that helps children develop an understanding and appreciation for all types of art. It is important to remind young artists that with art, it is ok to be different. That is what makes art so special and different from other subjects. There is never one correct answer.

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