Ms. Jeannie Steigerwalt – Art Teacher Of The Quarter- Winter 2014

Our featured Art Educator is Ms. Jeannie Steigerwalt from Collegium Charter School in Exton, Pennsylvania. Last month Original Works was able to ask Jeannie some questions about herself, her love of teaching art and what she can share with her fellow art educators. Read below to see some of her answers as to what inspires her and what she has learned through the years.

How long have you been teaching art?

 I started teaching in 1971, with a 15 year break for raising my children , then I returned to teaching in the 90’s as a sub while looking for an art position.  ( That was an experience .)  I have been teaching art again since 2001.

What grades do you teach?
Over the years I have taught everything from high school to elementary,  but for the last 9 years I have taught 4th through 6th.

So what was it that sparked your interest in becoming an art educator?
Summer vacation!  I liked living at the beach growing up and wanted to continue my summers there, so teaching was the logical choice of professions in the art field.

Do you have a particular art medium you like to use in your classroom?
I can’t really say I have a favorite.  I love the vibrant colors of oil pastels but also love the precision of a good sharpie.

Having taught for a while now at a variety of grade levels, you must have some interesting stories. Tell us one of the more memorable things that a student has done in one of your classes?

I’ve been at this job too long to pick just one.  But I’m so proud of my former student who have gone on to be in AP art classes and National Art Honor Society,  because many of them were the goofy, messy kids who were just loving art classes for the experience not necessarily for the finished product.

Is there anything you would like to share with your peers?

I have always found that if I could figure a way to simplify the hard parts of drawing or painting or working with clay, the students could model after my simple steps and have great success.  With success comes the desire to try it again on their own terms and creativeness.