Teacher: Christina Dresang
School: University School of Milwaukee, Milwaukee
Biography: Christina has been an art teacher at our school for the past 7 years. She was the K-12 department chair and award recipient for teaching and learning.
Why she was nominated: Christina is a constant learner, leader, and citizen at our school. She is always looking to better herself as a teacher and artist. The art studio at our school has been transformed to utilize best practices in teaching, standards, and has a focus on TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior - a passion of Christina's). The artwork the children create are beautiful and, most importantly, the children are able to articulate their learning to anyone who may ask. For many teachers, if they were asked to create a unit of study about Mount Fuji, or about the famous Milwaukee landmarks, or even X, Y coordinate grid maps or even a unit about the famous painter Kandinsky, they may say that’s a lot of work. Lucky for us we have a faculty member who is able tie together all of these classroom topics within her art classroom. Christina Dresang has the unique ability to integrate art curriculum into any classroom unit of study. The lessons she plans are designed with a growth mindset allowing children to learn, experiment and create their own art. At each art exhibition children are excited to share their projects with family and friends and are proud of the quality of work they produced. The collaborative piece of art in this dining room is an example of Christina’s priority for child-centered art.
I've worked with many art teachers who have projects that happen each year for a particular grade level. Christina is able to teach the standard, but engage the children in a manner that truly gets them excited for art. Each year I see new projects on display and children of all ages want to showcase their work to families. Additionally, Christina connects with our local community to showcase artwork from various community groups, racially diverse artists, and thought provoking media. She even took a group of children on a walking tour of Milwaukee to view the large building murals on display throughout the city. She is continually looking to make art relevant to children by connecting them with local artists who make a difference in our own community. From an oral story teller from the Oneida Nation sharing the art of corn husk doll making to working with the Pfister Artist In Residence, her connections allow our children to think about art beyond the materials in the classroom.
Nominated by: Michael Tauscher
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