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Career Connections: High School Art Teacher

6 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections. Surrounded by different color stripes, title: Fine Arts.

(Describer) Title: High School Art Teacher.

My name is Jenny Montgomery. I teach art at The Dayton Regional STEM School.

(Describer) In a classroom...

Each person works on a section, then somebody puts it together.

(Montgomery) My responsibilities include teaching art content knowledge, giving students a variety of experiences with different mediums, techniques. It's important to give students an experience where they recognize themselves as creative beings and have that opportunity to explore that part of themselves. My program is a little different than a traditional art program. At The Dayton Regional STEM School, we have a strong emphasis on project-based learning, and project-based learning is really about engaging students with work that is real world. Ideally, we're working with a partner and figuring out what their needs are that our students can fulfill while they're learning content. We're doing a project with the Newport Aquarium. The education director expressed these needs that he had for educational materials based on the next-generation science standards, so we were able to say, "Our students can create this." Sometimes it's very project-based, and it arises out of this specific need, and sometimes ideas just happen between teachers. Right now our class is creating wearable fashion that incorporates technology, so students are learning how to make circuits and using Arduino boards and writing code in order to control lighting and sound that's associated with their garments.

(Describer) With a student at a table...

Snaps will be on the outside. So they have two snaps, positive and negative, and those will run down the shorts.

(Montgomery) We've finished a project in which students were creating kinetic mobiles and worked with a professional artist. A lot of physics was involved. Some was new to me, which happens when we collaborate. I'm not familiar with the content, but I can draw on the expertise of other artists or other instructors in our school, which is really wonderful.

(Describer) A woman speaks to the art class.

This might be where you say, "I'll help you with that."

(Montgomery) When I think about myself as a teacher, I feel like more of a facilitator. Those are the best days. When I'm working with students, I feel like a visiting artist when I'm working alongside them and working with them and literally collaborating with the students. I have a bachelor's in art education. My bachelor's degree was four years. I did student teaching at the end of that. And then you take a state board test that you have to pass for your certification. I became an art teacher because I really love working with people. I love collaborating and the synergy that comes from working with other people and sharing ideas. I love teaching art. I feel lucky to be in this position because this is such a wonderful school. It's a unique learning environment and opportunity. Things that I don't love as much, there are moments when I feel like a teacher in a traditional sense, where there's paperwork, cafeteria duty, detention duty, or a discipline issue that I need to deal with. But some of those duties come with the job. Some early careers that I had were in social services, but in a very progressive organization that was really more about community building. They hired artists to do community building through art. Toward the end of college, I started a visual arts gallery. I directed that for three years and was showing my work. At the same time, I was student teaching, and I was working on projects. The best advice I've had is to teach what you love. As art teachers, we can connect with people at a critical time, when they're forming who they are. Have you thought about any accessories that work with this? I was thinking about a purse or something. That's a great idea.

(Montgomery) I have students that say, "I'm not creative. I can't do this." There are different ways that your creative capacities can be expressed, but it's also a way of thinking. It's about being able to see differently and think differently and be open to different ideas and connect ideas to create something new. If we can foster that and connect people with that innate creativity, those are skills they can utilize throughout their lives, no matter what career they choose.

(Describer) A student bends over a table shaping wire for a mobile.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. CET, Think TV, Public Media Connect. Copyright 2014. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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An art teacher at a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) school discusses her job and her passion for engaging her students' creativity. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12