Update from PAINT Program Coordinator Megan Shervey

APRIL 1ST 2016

There are so many great things happening in the second semester of PAINT.  Our new interns have been making huge advances in becoming promising future teachers.  

The creative movement classes through Rocky's K-2 program and the Boys and Girls Club are proving to be a great fit with SDMA's Mindfulness initiative this year.  Students are learning about breathing techniques, balance and coordination that support their health and well-being through fun activities like yoga and dance.

Our Sculpture class through the Boys and Girls Club was successfully completed.  Our UW-Stout interns in art education not only taught students about the art of 3-dimensional sculpture but also about the importance and value of recycling and repurposing.

With our new watercolor classes being offered at the Dunn County Jail, a whole new avenue in art therapy has been created. Our interns are getting experience in teaching adults and creating more advanced lessons which is a fantastic opportunity in this program.

Downsville Elementary is anticipating its recycled lid mural being completed in the next month.  With two PAINT interns leading the way, the mural has a Chuck Close inspired design that will result in a colorful and interactive piece of art for the whole community to enjoy.

Other classes like Creative Fashion, Arts and Crafts, and Thursday Night Thrill Seekers are halfway through a successful semester and looking forward to a strong finish at the end of April.

We've learned quite a lot after our first successful semester of the PAINT Program and have put many of our learning experiences to use in improving the second semester. With our program growing we can only expect to get even bigger and better in the future.

Reflections from PAINT interns

          As a P.A.I.N.T intern I have had the privilege of collaborating lessons with other teachers, being in charge of a classroom and working with a wide range of children. I have learned so much about myself as an educator from the experiences I have received from this program. It has gave me the opportunity to try out different lesson plans and techniques of teaching. Given the pleasure of being the teacher I have been able to get an insight on how my future as a teacher will be, which has encouraged me to continue my schooling in becoming an educator. I have really enjoyed my time as a P.A.I.N.T intern, I have learned so much and have gained valuable experiences.

-Kayla Derousseau

From the day I first heard about the P.A.I.N.T. program internships I knew that would be an unbeatable opportunity in experience for my future as an art educator, and it has been. So far I have held three internships positions over the course of two semesters. I have worked with adults with disabilities, inmates at the Dunn county jail, a wide range of elementary students, and even two year olds. Going into my first semester in the Art Education program I was excited to not only expand my knowledge of art but to learn how to pass on the knowledge and passion for art. Without much know how, I jumped right into my first teaching experience through the P.A.I.N.T. program. Of course I was nervous and naturally the class went roughly. But with each class it slowly improved. Today I can honestly say that looking back to that day, even only over the course of a year, I have vastly improved in my teaching. I am now much more comfortable creating lesson plans, demonstrating projects, and overall instructing art projects of various mediums to various ages, as well as knowing that I have a lot more room for improvement. Not only am I growing my teaching skills but I am also learning so much about class room management, adapting to students needs, and the process of lesson planning. Participating in these internships has given me an extra base of knowledge of what my future entails and taught me a lot about myself as a teacher. Having these experiences while simultaneously taking courses to continue my education allows me take what I am learning and apply it directly as a teacher myself. The P.A.I.N.T. program has given me unbelievable opportunities to become the best teacher I can be and I look forward to continuing to participate in the internships.

-Sierra Thomfohrda

The P.A.I.N.T. program has had a very positive impact on my teaching abilities. I would recommend it for anyone going into education. It has helped me become comfortable with all age groups. It has also made me more comfortable with being an independent teacher. I've had so much fun teaching and interacting with my students and the students are always very appreciative that we are doing this program with them! Students come to class excited and ready to get lost in art for an hour or so and it's just a great thing to be a part of! The classes I have taught have only made me more confident that I'm headed down the right career path!  

-Rebecca Handy

The experience of P.A.I.N.T. internships has been very valuable over the course of this first year at UW-Stout. Coming into this program as a transfer sophomore, I was not sure how far my experience with coaching for my local swim team would get me in a classroom focused primarily on art. Through the two P.A.I.N.T. internships that I have accepted, I have learned how to translate art as a subject into art as an avenue for students to learn about themselves and their creative side. The greatest thing that I have taken from these lessons (because I am primarily working with students at the elementary level) is to be able to be flexible in lessons, especially if that allows the student to enhance their self expression. I love being able to provide opportunities for these students to experiment and make projects that push their creative mind. Another wonderful factor of these internships is that they allow me to know the students that live in Menomonie. I feel that sometimes as college students we are disconnected within the actual community that we live in. These internships allowed me to create relationships with the youth of Menomonie, which could possibly be my students in my student teaching in a couple years. Finally, P.A.I.N.T. has shown me how much joy I receive from teaching. Billy Joel says, “If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time.” Words could not be any truer. Through the experience of these internships, I have found a love for inspiring others. Providing techniques and materials for their passions to be displayed through art, is an honor. I plan on continuing with these internships as every new internship provides a new opportunity for me to learn how I can make myself a better educator.

-Olivia Revolinski

As an Art Education major, and a lover of teaching, I am constantly searching for opportunities to gain experience in my field. In the fall of 2015, the P.A.I.N.T. program provided me with a remarkable opportunity by hiring me and another Art Education student to co-teach an art class for the Boys and Girls Club of Menomonie. I cannot even describe the full extent to which this internship impacted me and my capacity to teach children. The class was run entirely by my partner and I, with a supervisor from the club to assist us if necessary. We were able to arrange our own projects for the class, which was very exciting for the two of us—it was just like writing our own curriculums. The students were fantastic to work with. They would scurry into the room every day, eager to hear what our next project was. The passion that children have for making art is what inspired me to become an art teacher in the first place, and this class has reaffirmed that. The internship was an incredible learning experience as well. As with any class, there were a few children that were rowdy and occasionally misbehaved. It was helpful to have a supervisor, but my partner and I tried as much as possible to manage the classroom by ourselves. It was certainly challenging, but it is something we must practice because one day we will have to maintain our own classrooms. In addition to classroom management, my experience with the P.A.I.N.T. internship also provided me with practice in lesson planning, instruction, and working in a professional setting. Teaching this class has made me significantly more confident in my teaching abilities. Every time I have the opportunity to teach children, I become more and more enthusiastic about my future as an art teacher.

-Sarah Bennett

Working at the jail has been an extremely rewarding and eye-opening experience so far. I will admit that coming into this experience was a little intimidating. I was excited to teach in the jail setting, though I didn’t know what I was up against. Therefore, I was relieved to sense that the students in my classroom where just like anyone else I’ve ever met. Moreover, I didn’t realize how much the inmates would really appreciate and take away from these programs. Many of the students in my class have never had much of an art background or even learned art in school. Therefore, they never got much of a chance to give art a chance and see what it can do for them. These people most likely made a few poor choices, and are now trying to change and live a better life. It is unfortunate to hear that many of the inmates get in an unwanted cycle and are continuously coming in and out of jail due to a dependence on things such as drugs and alcohol that lead to poor lifestyle choices. It would be great if art affected them enough in a way in to help them get onto a better path and serve as an outlet for channeling stress. Many of the students in my class admit that they were taken back by how intense the watercolor class is that we teach. However, despite that, they rave about how much they are getting out of class and look forward to coming in to paint.  I know they are being genuine because I can see how excited and passionate they get talking about the class and their artwork; and that’s really rewarding to hear. For our last class, we had the men all paint self-portraits of themselves. This was a very challenging project for all of them; therefore it was surprising to hear that it was their favorite project. I think this is because they were extremely challenged with this project; therefore, they made an astounding amount of progress since their first practice portraits. Moreover, I think all of them were so impressed by how well their projects turned out that they couldn’t even believe they could paint something like that! If given the opportunity, I would love to go through this experience again. As a future art educator I think this involvement has taught me a lot of valuable skills pertaining to what methods do or don’t work in the classroom. Moreover, as someone who would like to teach secondary art education, it was great practice to try out different lessons that could relate to what I teach in the classroom. I think overall this experience has increasingly inspired my desire to teach because I am able to see just how great of an impact art can have on someone’s sense of enjoyment and appreciation.

-Sarah Kehoe