6th grade paper collage by Hannah
Do you know an outstanding art teacher? Can we make it a priority to encourage each other, shining a spotlight on those who are making a tremendous difference in the lives of students all across Alabama? One way to do this is through The Alabama Art Education Association "Member Spotlight":
"The Monthly Member Spotlight ...is a great way to share stories of all the awesome work going on in art classrooms across the state of Alabama and to advocate the importance of visual arts education.  ....Please address content to: Lindsay Mouyal, artlindsay@yahoo.com"

None of us is perfect, but all of us have something significant to offer. 
Is there an art teacher you know who needs to hear, "There is no one like you – you have an incredible and unique opportunity to make a difference in this world! Don’t let the powers that be get you down, enjoy your students and know that you are a GREAT teacher!" Send him or her an email! Call them up just to say, "I believe in you!" You can also contact Lindsay or me (artteacherhelp4al@gmail.com) and we will publish an article about him or her online. Lets celebrate art teachers!

As teachers, we can feel like we are working in a thankless vocation; as art teachers we can sometimes feel absolutely invisible.  
  • Fact: Our country's prestigious Teacher of the Year program, established in 1952, has had ONE visual art teacher honored as National Teacher of the Year; New Hampshire's Marilyn Black. That was 36 years ago in 1979. 
  • Fact: In the 63 years since the program began, there have been 3150 teachers awarded State Teacher of the Year. 48 out of these 3150 total teachers were visual art teachers. That equals 1.5%.
  • Fact: Of these 48 visual art State Teacher of the Year winners, none was from Alabama.

I may never be Teacher of the Year, but every day I have the power to influence hundreds of students. I know that I would never have survived the challenges of the classroom without the encouragement of my family, colleagues, and administrators. Without someone noticing me on a good day and pointing out something that I was doing right, I just may have given up. 
None of us gets anywhere alone: all of us stand on the shoulders of giants. We all need someone to believe in us, forgive our mistakes, and encourage us. Can we find a way to cheer each other on?  
6th grade paper collage by Hannah
  • Perhaps you know someone like Meredith Kilgore; she finds ways to facilitate successful collaborative art projects year after year for her middle school students in central Alabama. 
  • Or, perhaps you know an art teacher like Shelly Bailey who collaborated with the music teacher at their rural Alabama elementary school to write a huge grant. This allowed these teachers to integrate art and music; they have been working with the cast of "Stomp" and are preparing to put on a huge show! 
  • Another art teacher, Chris Screws, wrote curriculum for a brand new high school course entitled, "Visual FX" that offers real-world training for kids who envision a future career in the entertainment industry. 
  • Amanda McDonald, an enthusiastic and wonderful artist and teacher, works hard at her school with the extra duty of "yearbook." She has an incredible amount of energy that I only wish I had!
  • Kim Harrison and Allison Plunkett have faithfully (and with excellence) taught art for many years and still find the time to plan a field trip for students to attend a First Priority leadership conference.
  • My friend, Jill Ritchey, is one of the best encouragers I know. She has spent many hours in efforts to help provide professional development to all of us and continues to be an outstanding art teacher in her district. 
  • Dell Paradise is a dedicated and talented art teacher serving students at a rural high school. She could have retired years ago but loves her "kids" so much she doesn't have a desire to. 
  • Allison Bland recently earned her National Board Certification, enters her students' work in countless art shows, and hosts the "Empty Bowls" program at her school. Her high school students are very fortunate to have her!
  • Lisa Eckman Phipps worked for many years with underprivileged students and was voted "Teacher of the Year" by her colleagues at that school. 
  • Kristen Bloodworth is an exemplary art teacher who has volunteered to help advocate for visual art instruction in Alabama.
  • Finally, Lauren Fowler, Casey Williamson, Lindsay Mouyal, Tammie Clark, and Sharon Christman have sacrificed many hours of volunteer work to help with the Alabama Art Education Association conferences and are now serving as mentors to new art teachers. 

I don't have enough space in this article to mention every outstanding art teacher I know, but there are many more! I believe that all these teachers are amazing and I would say to them, "There is no one like you – you have an incredible and unique opportunity to make a difference in this world! Don’t let the powers that be get you down, enjoy your students and know that you are a GREAT teacher!"

  1. 1.
    shout for joy or in praise or encouragement.
    synonyms:encourage, urge on, spur on, drive on, motivateinspire, fire (up),inspirit, light a fire under
    "my friends were there to cheer me on"
  2. 2.
    give comfort or support to.
    synonyms:raise someone's spirits, make happier, brighten, buoy up, enliven,exhilarateheartengladdenuplift, perk up, boostencourageinspirit;
    informalbuck up
    "the bad weather did little to cheer me"
    • make or become less miserable.
      synonyms:perk up, brighten (up), become more cheerful, liven up, rallyrevive,bounce back, take heart; 
      informalbuck up
      "Leslie cheered up as soon as the grades were posted"
  1. 1.
    a shout of encouragement, praise, or joy.
    synonyms:hurray, hurrahwhoopbravoshoutroarMore

  2. 2.
    cheerfulness, optimism, or confidence.
    happinessjoy, joyousness, cheerfulness, cheeriness, gladness,
    merrimentgaietyjubilationjollity, jolliness, high spirits, joviality,jocularity, conviviality, lightheartedness

    article by: Mrs. Anna Nichols

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