A teachable moment

Starry Night from vangoghgallery.com
I met a teacher last week while I was working at Lowe's - she needed some help with spackle.  As I  followed her down the aisle, she explained to me that she had a very unique situation - she needed to put spackle on construction paper...I was intrigued...She explained that she was a teacher and was preparing a lesson on Van Gogh for her third grade students.  She thought that it would be important for them to understand how he painted - and surmised that putting spackle on heavy construction paper (and then painting with tempera paints) would be the closest that she could come to replicate the process of gesso applied to canvas and then painted with heavy oil pigments.

I loved her project plan and the intention to get the students involved - I suggested that she use joint compound since it has a creamier consistency than spackle - and to experiment first on her own to make sure this process would give her the result she sought.  I supplied her with some wood paint sticks that she could cut in half so each student could have an applicator that would work for small hands.  She was so grateful since the cost of most extraneous supplies comes out of her pocket.

an aside - why can't we find a way to get the resources teachers need?  I have a friend who was student-teaching two years ago and had no resources for supplies - I scoured my studio for anything I thought a kindergarten teacher would find useful.  We expect minor miracles from the teachers in our school systems but yet won't fully fund the programs.  Anyone who pursues teaching nowdays is a saint.

I'm sorry that I didn't get her name nor the school where she taught - I would love to see the students' final masterpieces!


  1. Amy Love I SO AGREE but I think you should have actually made that paragraph LARGER than your regular text....You shouldn't be shy or hold back honest heartfelt words....I for one think it stinks these supplies are not provided by the schools....You Teachers are paid terribly, have high expectations thrust upon them & have to buy their own project matter....That just doesn't make sense to me....!!

    THANKS for helping her out....She sounds like a GOOD ONE & her students are VERY LUCKY....!!

    Cheers from Oz,
    Tamarah :o)

  2. ....That SHOULD read: YOUR TEACHERS....Not You Teachers....DOH....!!


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