Magazine article School Arts

Jodi Patterson: Our Featured Wonder Full Teacher for the Second in a Series of Teacher Voices Is Jodi Patterson, an Art Specialist at Midland High School, Midland, Michigan. She Believes That "Emptiness Provides Room for Opportunity."

Magazine article School Arts

Jodi Patterson: Our Featured Wonder Full Teacher for the Second in a Series of Teacher Voices Is Jodi Patterson, an Art Specialist at Midland High School, Midland, Michigan. She Believes That "Emptiness Provides Room for Opportunity."

Article excerpt

The key to being a Wonder Full teacher is the ongoing transformative process within the teachers themselves. The teacher's own introspection and personal transformation provide the necessary model for fostering transformational growth in others.

The teacher who has personally met and acknowledged what it means to be hungry--be it through failure, loss, deprivation or curiosity--becomes the example for personal and social change within their classroom. Viewed by students, the teacher's transparency involves risk, and risking involves venturing down unpaved roads, submitting to scrutiny, and making mistakes. However, risk also invites forming better questions, heating new ideas, letting go of control, overcoming professional and personal stagnation. Risk is a prelude to transformation, the very basis of creativity.

An empowering teacher understands that emptiness provides room for opportunity; that hunger whets the appetite. In order to fill both the classroom and her own self with the "new," the teacher must listen to what is being overtly expressed, but also what is not being expressed--what is not present, and should be. The following "Tent and Tea" art experience is about noticing what was not happening in my art classroom, and providing the opportunity to transform emptiness to a higher level of fulfillment in authentically creative and intimate ways:

Tent & Tea--an Experience

It is the end of the semester, final exam time. Students and teachers have been pulled thin, resulting in a disconnection amongst students and between them and myself. …

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