Posted by: dbjaquith | December 15, 2013

The Making of an Art Teacher

Karen leads a lesson on printmaking with first graders.

Ms. Beaty leads a lesson on printmaking with first graders.

Friday was the last day for our student intern, Ms. Beaty. She was a presence at Franklin School every day for the entire fall. She also took three courses at night, part of the required undergraduate curriculum at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. (For some reason, graduate students only have to take two courses in addition to their internship.) As of October, Ms. Beaty took over most of the classes, meaning that she planned lessons and prepared materials, provided support and feedback, assessed learning, and exhibited student work. By November, she taught all of the classes while I managed the kiln, logistics, and taught small groups. It has been great to have a like-minded professional working alongside me – something most art teachers don’t experience often enough. We worked well together, balancing our areas of expertise and learning from one another. We laughed a lot and examined serious issues with care. While most teachers today are encouraged, even required, to team up, elementary art teachers rarely have the benefit of same-discipline educators in their buildings. We typically work in isolation. I am very grateful for Ms. Beaty’s collegial service to Franklin School and wish her well as she joins faculty at Burr School as a long-term art substitute teacher.


  1. What you say about art teachers working in isolation resonates with my experience. How great that an intern became a colleague and someone with whom to collaborate in the classroom! What a great opportunity this must have been for everyone, including the children who received the benefit of your small group instruction.

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