Because we don't have art in our building, I actually have an easel and paint in the back of my classroom. The kids come in for breakfast, they see me painting.
Teacher stories, interviews, and videos related to the arts in schools.
I've been told, “this student can't read” or “they're a non-reader.” But in my class, in my play, they've learned their lines. So I believe strongly: the arts enhance every part of education.
I was full-on ready to be a full-time artist. And then I was invited to be a teacher at a summer institute in Denver, through the Native American Youth Outreach Program. I think it was seeing those kids connect to our traditional arts — part of our cultural inheritance that they had little exposure to before. It was seeing kids connect to our indigenous ways that changed me.
I was the kid who was under the table with a fireman's helmet on, covering his ears because he didn't understand what people were saying. I would get frustrated all the time because I didn't understand multiple syllable words. So in elementary school, I was diagnosed with dyslexia.
My mom taught for 30 years. And after I went to grad school she said, ‘Why don't you get some experience in the city schools?’ I did it, and I haven't left. You get really attached to the work and the students, especially once you see them meet the standards that you help them set for themselves.