We’re proud to have received wonderful feedback from teachers throughout the 2020-21 school year about their ArtistsInspire experiences. Excited about the enthusiasm and creativity demonstrated by their students, teachers’ explanations for their high satisfaction ratings have focused on artists’ ability to inspire and connect with students, their flexibility and skill teaching in-person and virtually and their ability to collaborate with teachers to integrate the arts and culture experience with the teacher’s curriculum goals.
Illustrating our artists ‘can-do’ approach, Crestview Elementary School teacher Monic Farrell said,
“Prior to the workshops with Carol Lyng, many students expressed to me: “I can’t draw…” Following the workshops these same students proudly shared their artwork. From the first planning session with Carol Lyng, she emphasized that her main goal was to help students learn that they can draw and that they can be artists and her clear, calm, step by step support really helped the students achieve this (even via Zoom!).”
In Grenville Elementary School teacher Christine Dowal’s words,
“Emily Rose is the consummate, professional working artist. From our initial conversation to our final good-byes, Emily Rose projected a calm, empathetic, respectful demeanor. She effectively communicated to me her creative purpose, outlined her pedagogical process and explained the logistics of her undertaking… I was struck by how practiced Emily Rose was at outlining her project… The students were captivated and challenged by her creative presentation, and delighted with their final art pieces.”
Supporting her colleague’s comments regarding Emily’s professionalism and understanding of cross-curricular competencies, kindergarten teacher Grace Gibson writes, “I like the connection to water and discussion of important bodies of water around Grenville and Quebec. There was so much science, geography, history, math, and art!!!” With regards to Emily’s ability to connect with students, Grade 5-6 teacher Carolyn A. Goorbarry quite simply states, “Emily spoke WITH the students, not AT them.”
MacKay Centre special ed teacher Joelle Quintin underlines the collaborative and resourceful attitude of our artists:
“We used recycled materials that the class found to make musical instruments in the classroom. This was done with groups that have physical disabilities. [Louise Campbell] was really helpful in helping us find any way whether it’s a student playing an instrument with their head, with their toes, with their finger, whatever abilities they have, we were able to create instruments for them… We would definitely recommend ArtistsInspire and Louise… especially for any special needs programs that might not feel that a regular program is a good fit for them… She’s a good fit in any setting.”
In addition to their enthusiasm for what ArtistsInspire brings to students, teachers are enthusiastic about what the program brings to them. As drama, visual arts and social studies specialist Nancy Catchpaw of Drummondville Elementary School says,
“I’ve been teaching drama for twenty years. I was in a funk and wasn’t sure what to do with COVID… there were a lot of restrictions. I was struggling and so I thought, I need something new, something fresh. [Laura Teasdale] was proposed to me… I was very, very, very pleased. It got me motivated again. She was so dynamic, I wanted to participate, it wasn’t just the kids!
Teacher Deborah Moram from Laurentian Elementary School is as enthusiastic about ArtistsInspire as her project with Carol Lyng. As Deborah writes,
“ArtistsInspire is a fantastic way to bring all facets of art into the classroom. It was easy to navigate and there was help through the process when I had any questions. As a teacher of 22 years I must say this has been the easiest grant to access, and the one that led to the greatest result and most smiles from my students… As a teacher I found Carol to be easy to work with. We made a great team and it showed in the art my students created and the smiles on their proud faces.”
Teachers’ feedback and enthusiasm means the world to us every year at ArtistsInspire, and even more so in this year of many challenges. A heartfelt thanks to the teachers and artists who have worked so hard to foster student creativity throughout the 2020-21 school year.