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Re: [teacherartexchange] Tell us your passion for art education Jim


From: debbie nicholas (dkaynik_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Jul 09 2005 - 14:34:16 PDT

I have unsubscribed through my school email address and resubscribed through a yahoo account.
My love of art started at a very young age. My grandmother would sit me on her lap and tell stories while she illustrated them. As I grew older she would have me do the drawings while she would tell the stories, then I would draw and tell the stories. She past away about 5 years ago and I wish I could remember some of the stories.
I lost my hearing gradually as a child because of ear infections and such so when I started to school I could not hear well. I could already read and write so they didn't worry too much. I remember sitting in the corner drawing while the other students work on other things - phonics and such. I had a couple of operations in the 3rd and 5th grades and since am able to hear with few problems but I continued to draw.
In junior high I was the only girl in my art class for 2 years and the 3rd year 2 other girls joined me. In high school I took art classes every year along with photography and mechanical and architectural drawing. While in high school and college I would visit my mother's second grade class and teach a couple of drawing lessons a month as kind of a reward to her students.
When I went to college I was a pre-engineering major and took art classes also my first 2 years. Then I switch for some strange unknown reason to accounting. When I was 12 hours shy of my accounting degree I came to my senses and changed to art education. When I told my accounting professors they laughed at me.
I finished college with major in art and minor in math. I got my first teaching job with no problems I taught in a small district in Arkansas where the Arkansas River runs into the Mississippi River. I taught art 1/2 a day and math 1/2 a day. After a couple of years I moved a little north, just outside Memphis and still taught art and math until the district consolidated with a neighboring district then I taught both high schools 1/2 day at each.
I have taught the last 17 years in Texas. I have been in this school district for the past 4 years. I am the chair of the fine arts department, band, choral music, theatre arts and visual arts. I have 3 other visual arts teachers. I teach - Art I (when I can't get out of it), Drawing II, III, IV, Painting II, III, IV, AP 2-D portfolio and AP drawing portfolio.
On of my students wrote an essay for English class last year after our museum trip to Dallas Museum of Art describing her experience with Fredric Church's The Icebergs and how I had told her to make sure she saw the painting. When the English teacher past the essay on to me I sat and cried. She talked about my influences on her not just in seeing that painting but how she looked at it differently than she would have before our years together. Sometimes we don't get a chance to really see how much we mean to our students but those times we do get to see are truly special.
Texas High

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