Many mission statements in school districts declare that students will be provided a well-rounded education. But once you walk past the boastful banner and into classrooms, you quickly realize some subjects play second fiddle to the core subjects.
Art is one of these subjects. Art has proven to increase child development in areas such as motor skills, visual learning, inventiveness, language development, and even improving academic performance. Yet, in times of financial duress, art and programs like it are often the first to receive the budgetary scalpel.
In this episode of Anchored in Education, I am joined by Jodi England, a 20 year veteran art teacher, and my sister, to discuss the importance and profound impact art can have in a school environment.
Jodi England knew in middle school that she wanted to do something with art. Inspired by a teacher and blessed with an artistic vision and talent, she pursued a career in art. After spending some time in Chicago studying, she returned to central Illinois to complete her degree in Art Education at Eastern Illinois University.
Upon graduating from EIU, she was hired to teach high school art at MacArthur High School in Deactur, Illinois. After 12 years, she transitioned to argenta-Oreana where she has continued to teach high school students along with middle school students for the past 7 years.
In addition to her teaching duties, she serves as coordinator and teacher for Our Voice Through Art, an art program for teens and adults with special needs. In the rare moment of free time, she can be found creating art, some of which is available at The ArtFarm in Deactur, Illinois.