Monday, May 7, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Week: Lessons from My High School Art Teacher

In honor of teacher appreciation week, I’ve decided to write a blog each day of the week as a tribute to a teacher or teachers who have made a difference in my life. The easiest place to start is with my high school art teacher, who also was my father. Five lessons I learned from him in his role as an art teacher included:
  1. It’s okay to let students be the teachers. I remember when he was nearing retirement and was asked to teach a computer graphics course on the school Apples. He let the students do a lot of experiential learning and report back to the class and to each other.
  2. Get involved with the community. From serving as a volunteer fireman to being involved on school scholarship committees, he was an example of the importance of giving back to the community.
  3. Treat the custodians and secretaries as if they are the most important people in the school. 
  4. Socialize with your colleagues outside of school, but leave “school” behind when you are out (if you can.) 
  5. Procrastination happens and you will have to pay the consequences. As a result of this philosophy, I can remember paint drying on sets for musicals while dress rehearsals were going on. Procrastination is also why although I had the idea for a week of tributes a bit ago, on the first day of Teacher Appreciation Week at 10:31pm I am writing the first blog. The consequence is that I will be tired.
What lessons have you learned beyond the scope of class from a teacher? 
It may seem crazy to have a big Care Bear snow sculpture in a tribute to my Art Teacher, but since he was my father, this was just one of the many snow sculptures that he created to brighten the drive along Route 42. Since I mention getting involved with the community, giving back with the beauty of sculpture seemed appropriate.

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