My name is Elizabeth M. Ibarra. I am a professional artist who has had the privilege of working as an ASES Art Teacher for 5 successful school years at Desert Garden Elementary School. It is an honor to be a Celebrating Art Top Ten Art Teacher. The recognition each of my published art students has received is a source of pride and excitement among my students, their parents and colleagues alike. Having a Top Ten winner published in the Summer 2017 anthology is validation of the young talent in my classes and of the effort they put into crafting their remarkable works of art.
There are many factors which contribute to success in the classroom; not the least of which is the willingness of my students to actively participate in their own development as young artists. My teaching style is influenced by having been homeschooled and later attending a prestigious art school for a year. My own art education was very self-motivated. I had the support of my family; especially my parents as I embarked on my artistic journey. They signed me up for classes with professional artists during my elementary and high school years. These experiences have now come full circle as I am a professional artist, motivating my students to take their artistic abilities seriously. I feel that family participation and recognition of the work they create is vital to their early success. I submit student works in our annual district art festival, local, regional and national contests with Celebrating Art as a focus. The process of student participation in Celebrating Art directly involves their families as I request permission to enter art created by their children. The familial joy and enthusiasm involved in these contests is a motivation for my students to consider themselves artists and to take pride in crafting their works of art.
Another factor of success I have had in the classroom is working with the abilities of each student, which are as varied as their personalities. I create lesson plans which cover a lot of artistic styles and media, giving support to the needs of each of my students. Creating impressions of famous artwork and discussing art history is always engaging and fun for my students. We spend time in-between elaborate projects practicing drawing skills with nature photographs. Developing hand-eye coordination is greatly important as it gives students more confidence while approaching complex projects. In class recognition of their hard work and success is another great motivating tool. It is my goal to boost student enthusiasm for their own works and those of their classmates.
Remember that we as artists and art teachers are helping keep the arts alive in our schools. Art education is important. Best of luck to you in your art teaching endeavors.