Art of Student Teaching Exhibition
Tyler's Art Education Program held its Spring Art of Student Teaching show this past Sunday. In the Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery, students of all ages gathered with their families to appreciate a variety of creations that they had made with the guidance of their student teachers from Tyler. Proud instructors met with the families of their students and admirers of the works, discussing the accomplishments of their pupils with pride.
The Art Education Program is spearheaded by Wendy Osterweil, one of the many talented faculty members at the Tyler School of Art. Exhibitions similar to this one make it apparent that every experience of the teacher and of the student is unique and brings new knowledge to both parties. All of the faculty at Tyler bring their experiences to their students, creating a program that allows for progression, growth, and the spread of knowledge from professors, to student teachers, to their students.
“Tyler has an awesome program,” says Staci Hujsa, a student teacher at Norristown High School. “Wendy is amazing, and so progressive.” Lindsay King, a student teacher for AMY at James Martin chimes in, saying that “Tyler provides students a contemporary looks at the world, and art.” Events such as this are a testament to the profession of teaching, its effect on the world around it and the ways that it is uniquely rewarding to each individual. The two Tyler students attest to this statement wholeheartedly, sharing their experiences in teaching with enthusiasm.
“When you see students have a breakthrough--for example, I had a student working so hard on a piece in this exhibition. I watched them try so hard, up until they finally worked through it. It was amazing,” says Staci Hujsa. “There’s nothing like connecting with a student you’ve been struggling to connect with,” responds Lindsay King.
The positive experiences in teaching are not isolated to the students in the program. Wendy Osterweil shares her pride in her students, stating that “We have a very strong team of student teachers. I am very proud of them! They grow in ways so unpredictable, they amaze themselves! I think the work by K-12 students demonstrates the variety and creativity the student teachers bring to the students at their schools as well as the profession.”
Professor Osterweil then directed me to Joy Waldinger, another student of hers teaching at Greene Street Friends School. Waldinger has been implementing a program with her pupils meant to address not only the creation of art but sensitivity to the environment.
“I got started with the Temple Community Gardens and Students for Environmental Action,” Waldinger says. “We have worked in a garden and with the community. We have many different events, and at these we often have creation of crafts for children out of recycled materials. I am passionate about working with recycled materials, which comes out of work with the students. I tried to make it a priority in my curriculum.” Though materials can occasionally be a problem for budding artists, it was not for Waldinger. “I would gather cardboard, water bottles, scrap fabric, file folders for them to work with in the class. I’m happy with the projects that they have created.” The work presented by her school was very colorful, and all created through the use of the materials that she had listed. “I tried to create a curriculum that revolves around utilization of recycling and creating less waste while exposing students to found object artists. The Resource Exchange at 2nd and Cecil was so helpful in gathering materials that I needed!”
These student teachers are perfect examples of the progressive nature of the up-and-coming teachers in the art education program. There is a great deal of creativity involved in teaching, and even more joy in the work that they do. All of the student teachers and their professors exhibited an excitement about education that is both infectious and uplifting. This event is certainly one for bringing the community closer with great success. Attending this event even as an outsider is eye-opening for artists and members of the Philadelphian community.