Welcome to Artistry in Education, my professional website and portfolio as both an educator, and artist. To view my body of work, research, personal teaching pedagogy, written pieces, and resources I find helpful in my practice, please explore!
Active Studio Practice
In the field of art education, it is my belief that the best of teachers are not simply art educators, but rather are artists, educators, researchers, documenters, and lifelong learners. Maintaining my own studio practice, centered on ceramics and sculpture, has helped to inform my teaching strategies, inspiring new lessons while enriching the classroom atmosphere with visuals and teacher samples.
Perhaps it is my own diverse set of interests, but I believe in incorporating interdisciplinary connections throughout my curricula. Science, math, engineering, digital technologies, reading, and writing are all inherently connected to the arts. In encouraging my students to explore these connections with the common core, I believe I can critically engage, and better prepare them for their future careers.
Integration of Digital Technology
With the technological world growing at an astounding rate, I refuse to ignore the implications, and benefits of such resources. These technologies can help to engage students and assist in the researching and problem solving that occurs in the classroom. Whenever it is advantageous to student enrichment, I will integrate, and educate students on such technologies and digital media.
Teaching at Wesley Spectrum Highland—a school for students with special needs such as those with autism and oppositional defiant disorder—provided me the experience of balancing the various needs of different students. I was forced to provide different modes of teaching critical material to students. My time spent at the Pittsburgh Gifted Center also provided me with the experience of catering to students at the highest end of the achievement spectrum. Currently, working with gifted students at Central Bucks, as the Gifted Case Manager to over 40 students, I have written GIEP documents and seen the behind-the-scenes of differentiated instruction. Such experiences have prepared me for providing opportunities based on the needs of my learners, and managing a classroom of learners at various achievement levels. With these skills, I will see, reach, and build the potential of my individual students and my classes as a whole.
From the moment I greet students at the door with an enthusiastic, “Buon giorno!” (my maiden name) or “Hello there!” they understand that they are entering a safe environment, where the expression of their diverse interests and personal cultures will be encouraged. My students will value reflection, the development of technique, critical thinking, and personal growth throughout their own creative journey. To reinforce the critical skills and techniques my students will be introduced to, I will ensure that the classroom environment is rich in visuals—student artwork, posters, contemporary artists, traditional artists, etc. I will also involve my learners in updating classroom artwork and décor.
The Philadelphia area offers endless opportunities for young learners. I believe community exhibition—inside and outside of the classroom and school—is crucial in building a community of artists and learners. As I have in the past, I will continue to support my students through entrance in juried exhibits, and community showcases. Just as I partnered with organizations like the Andy Warhol Museum and the Cultural Trust in Pittsburgh, or the Michener Museum in Doylestown, I hope to partner with more Philadelphia area museums, and programs which offer grants and enrichment to schools. Outside of the art studio, I coach field hockey in the fall, and girls lacrosse in the spring, which helps to build rapport with my students in activities beyond the arts. In the past, I have coached several seasons of girls soccer, as well.
I have the highest expectations for my own professionalism in education. I consider maintaining an active studio practice, staying involved in the community, and furthering my own education to be responsible, and crucial in ensuring my own success as an educator. Even during student teaching, I continued to take classes in ceramics at a local studio, The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. With my certification in Art K-12 complete, I went on to earn my Master of Education in Educational Program Design. This University of the Arts MEd program was focused on designed visual art programs and curriculum. Beyond the art room, I hope to continue my involvement, as I have in the past, in school activities such as coaching, sponsoring clubs, assisting in the school yearbook, and anywhere else I can be of use. I hope to participate on a team of educators driven to raise school spirit and awareness through programs like "Sunshine Committee." I hope to raise money for programs through fundraising and grants—a process through which I have previously experienced benefits. As an art educator, I believe my job reaches far beyond the art room, and far into the school hallways and the streets of the greater Philadelphia area.