Thank A Teacher

As we get The Artist’s Magazine’s October issue ready for the printer, our September issue is on its way to you. If you’re not a subscriber (you should be!), look for it on the newsstands August 11th.

In addition to over 300 workshop listings, the September issue has a marvelous article on a Dallas initiative that integrates the arts into the standard middle and upper school curriculum (“Kids Get Smart With Art,” by Tucker Coombe). The premise is simple and incontestable: students learn best when they engage all aspects of their being: their bodies as well as their brains. Mathematical intervals make sense when you’re dancing; optics, when you mix  colors of paint or play with stage lights. Read about arts initiatives across the country in the Wallace Foundation’s report, produced by the RAND Corporation, “Revitalizing Arts Education through Community-Wide Coordination”.

Reading Tucker Coombe’s article (and the tributes pouring in from former students of Frank McCourt) reminded me of the wonderful teachers who so influenced my life. In my letter from the editor in the September issue, I urged you drop a line to an art teacher you’re grateful to. If you’ve lost touch, I invite you to post the letter here. Maybe it will find its way to her or him!

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2 thoughts on “Thank A Teacher

  1. Maureen

    Thanks, Joseph, for a beautiful memory. I owe most of what I know about language to Sister Marguerite. I remember when she asked us (in eighth grade at St. John School) who the three best American poets were. My favorites at the time were Edna St. Vincent Millay and Carl Sandburg, neither of whom made Sister Marguerite’s cut. She maintained that the greatest were Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost,and Edward Arlington Robinson: not a bad list, after all.

    Sister Marguerite was a taskmaster, yet she made everything fun. We played so many games, racing to the board to diagram sentences in five minutes; looking up arcane facts in our almanacs; intoning beautiful words in Latin and English. I loved her so much!!

  2. Joseph Mihelarakis

    I have fond memories of Roy Riethmiller, who is still living in Martins Ferry, Ohio and will be 90 next year. He is a painter of local renown, beloved for his scenes of the Ohio Valley area. For several years he taught in the schools and I remember the feeling of excitement when he would visit our grade school classes. He taught us how to paint trees one day, over 40 years ago. Probably more importantly, he and others, such as poet James Wright, demonstrated that we could become artists. That this was something someone we knew (or knew of), from our own lives, could do! These and other teachers have been invaluable to me. (Thanks, of course, Maureen, to you also!)

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