Stacey Foss is an art teacher in Elgin School District U-46. This is her sixteenth year of teaching. She currently teaches art to first through sixth graders and sees approximately 700 students a week. Foss holds a Bachelor of Science in education and a certification in art education from Northern Illinois University. She also holds a master’s degree in art with an emphasis in curriculum implementation from Nova Southeastern University.

(Photo Courtesy of Stacey Foss)

(Photo Courtesy of Stacey Foss)

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

“I provide a safe, fun learning environment for students to express their creativity. I devise lessons that are interdisciplinary and are consistent with the national standards. I collaborate with other art and classroom teachers to expose the students to higher levels of thinking and different ways to grasp the concepts and techniques being taught. My favorite part is seeing the final results and displaying student art work. It is very rewarding.”

What is your favorite part of your daily duties?

“My favorite part of my day is teaching various grade levels, learning new things from my students, seeing and hearing from them their interpretation of the lessons. My favorite would be when a student has an “Ah Ha” moment. Meaning that they realize that they have learned something about the art lesson being taught in their regular classroom. Of course, I always love to hear a student tell me that when they grow up, they are going to be an artist or an art teacher.”

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“Yes, very much so, and it is never ending. You must constantly be taking classes to keep current with the ever changing national standards, technology, student behavior and self-growth. Of course, the best way to learn your job is to get right into the classroom… real life situations.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career?

“Observe a lot of different classrooms, volunteer to help with children, be sure you really know what you’re getting into. Also, make sure you have a backup plan or other certifications, as the arts always seem to be on the chopping block when it comes to making cuts in education.”

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.