Amy Chambers, art teacher at Glen Arden Elementary, discusses the benefits of the arts and the dedication teachers bring to the profession.
Why is teaching the arts important for elementary-age students?
Teaching art to elementary students is so important. The arts build problem-solving skills and creativity. They also provide opportunities for students to express themselves in a safe environment. One of the most important lessons students learn through the arts is how mistakes can turn into something beautiful. It is such a gift to be able to foster creativity in children each day while helping them build a growth mindset.
What is the biggest challenge in teaching children?
The biggest challenge in teaching elementary students is probably the intensity of needs and the lack of resources that we are currently facing. Working with elementary students is very rewarding and also very emotionally intense, and school staff need support and resources in order to be able to sustain the level of energy and attention that the students deserve.
What is the biggest misconception people have about the role of teachers?
The biggest misconception about teachers is that we are only working when students are in the building. While we enjoy our summers and holidays, many of us work very long hours while school is in session and spend lots of the off-time honing our skills, setting up classrooms and in professional development. It is a very time-consuming profession that requires lots of planning and work outside of the hours when students are present.