As a younger classroom art teacher, I was fortunate enough to meet the art legend of Manitou Springs, "ROCKY": who had spent many years as a classroom art teacher himself. He gave me some of the best teaching advice I have ever received.
He said, "Do whatever you ask your students to do."
This seemed like such a monumental task at that time, but once I began putting it into practice, it became a driving force in my interaction with students.
Lead by example: inspire with your own passion and mistakes. Let them see you working too.
As the core teacher piloting the Paonia Experiential Leadership Academy, I am excited to continue the commitment to be a cooperative learner with my students. I will be reaching far beyond my comfort zone - of studio art - into the worlds of mindfulness, wellbeing, life-skills, government, agriculture, business, and the outdoors.
In some cases, I may know more than the students, and in other cases they may know much more than me, and that is fantastic. Teachers do not always know more than their students. We will work through our learning experiences together, and I will model best learning practices and support.
I hope to grow and learn as much as our students in the coming school year. I am honored students have chosen to come on this journey with me.