Mr. Mike Carroll – The Current Teacher Of The Quarter

art teacherOur featured Art Educator is Mr. Mike Carroll. Mike is an Elementary School art teacher at Kyffin Elementary School in Golden Colorado. He was recently named the 2011 Colorado Art Education Association’s Art Teacher of the Year. Recently Original Works was able to ask Mike some questions about him, his love of teaching art and what he can share with his fellow art educators. Read below to see some of his answers as to what inspires him and what he has learned through the years.

Mike, how long have you been teaching art?
12 years – 2 in the Middle and High School, and 10 in the Elementary School. For the past 5 years I have also been part of the adjunct faculty at the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.

What grades do you teach?
Currently I teach K-6 at Kyffin Elementary School in Golden, Colorado.

So what was it that sparked your interest in becoming an art educator?
I have had a passion for art ever since I held my first crayon. I fell in love with teaching at the age of 17 when I started leading for my father’s mountaineering / rock climbing classes. As time went on, teaching art just seemed to be the natural course for my life. I have found my vocation in life – I wake up every day and I actually want to go to work.

Do you have a particular art medium you like to use in your classroom?
We use a lot of markers, color pencils, and clay in my art room. Paints, and recycled materials also play a big role.

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?
There are so many stories to pick from, but a couple years ago some students were so excited about art that they wanted to leave their mark at Kyffin for all to see. They ended up creating a “Jackson Pollock” on my front wall with permanent paint!

Is there anything you would like to share with your peers?
It is so important to develop a sense of pride in your students towards their art. This pride will have far reaching impacts on the development of their creativity. Creativity is an essential component to the development of a 21st century mind. Getting student work out in the public is one of the routes I have chosen, which includes art all over the walls of our school, free art shows in the public libraries, and of course, things like Original Works!