Jail project gives UW-Stout student new insight into teaching

Jail project gives UW-Stout student new insight into teaching

Nov 18, 2018


When University of Wisconsin-Stout junior Hana Buttles started her internship at the Dunn County Jail, she was nervous about teaching art techniques to inmates.

However, the art education major from Iola realized that her internship with PAINT — Program for Arts Integration for New Teachers — through Arts Integration Menomonie made her a better teacher.

“I used to be more self-centered as a teacher,” Buttles said. “I thought I would be planning daily lessons, teaching it to the students and going home. I see now how important it is to really incorporate that aspect of teaching into your life. It’s less about me and more about how I can support them.”

Buttles started teaching at the jail during the spring semester and is continuing this fall semester. She teaches different techniques to a group of 10 to 12 inmates.

“Getting into it, I was very scared and nervous,” Buttles said. “I had never taught in a jail environment before. It has been one of the most satisfying and most fulfilling parts of my education. It helps me become a better teacher. I have learned a lot about classroom management and how to engage students from a diverse background.”

Arts Integration Menomonie is an organization that encompasses collaborative partnerships between UW-Stout, the Menomonie school district and the local community to retain teachers through arts integration. PAINT is a collaborative partnership between UW-Stout, the community and school programs to give preservice teachers opportunities for paid internships to practice teaching in a creative capacity.

Buttles has seen art change attitudes at the jail. “Many of them are more confident in their abilities and the idea that they can make a difference,” she said.

After graduation, Buttles wants to work as a high school art teacher and get a master’s degree in art therapy.