search  current discussion  categories  teaching 

teacher's story

updated fri 20 mar 98


Eleanora Eden on wed 18 mar 98

Joyce's thoughtful post moves me to share a teaching story with you that I
hold very dear to my heart. I was teaching ceramics at Putney/Antioch (a
tiny teacher's training school on the top of a mountain that is now
Keene/Antioch), I was about 25, taking education classes and my student
teaching wasn't student teaching at all as they didn't have anybody in art
to supervise me, my "supervisor" was a very nice English teacher who did
some photography I think I recall.....anyway, I was on my own.

One of my students was the son of the town drunk. Everybody whispered to
me that he smelled, etc, you all know the story, on the first day of school
the other teachers told me who to distain and who to respect, and this
round-faced, large, and to my mind winsome kid was not on the A list.

Well I found out real quick that pencil and paper was too raw and I
introduced all sorts of printing techniques to give them some distance.
This boy started doing a linoleum print of a round-faced king with a pointy
crown and it was truly masterful; he was really doing art. So I plastered
his stuff all over the school. It was great workj, and the kid deserved a

There was quite a storm from some of teachers who dismissed me as an
oddball from California, which of course was true enough.....well I taught
there for 2 years part time....there were many good parts that I remember
fondly.....but most of all there was the round-faced king in bright red
ink, a forlorn witness.......
Joyce's post reminded me of him and made me wonder how things turned out
for him.


Eleanora Eden 802 869-2003
Paradise Hill
Bellows Falls, VT 05101

JLHclay on thu 19 mar 98

Eleanora, I've taught occasional workshops over the years. Now & then a
student recognizes me & tells me what was meaningful to them how I somehow
managed to encourage or in power them. Often we never see the results of the
seeds we sow but I know just giving good attention changes peoples perceptions
of themselves.
When I worked with LD children in the school districts I involved even the
youngest in the critique process. I wanted them to verbalize & develop a
basic understanding about esthetics. Most surprising was the change in their
teachers attitude after hearing what I had to say about the children's
efforts. Suddenly clay workshops weren't just mindless happy hands time but
an academic journey.
Your kindness & open mind most likely had far reaching results.
Joy in Tucson where everyone else's poppies have popped but mine just tease