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The art of teaching success

Teacher feature
By: Bridget Jones, Telegraph Correspondent
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Teacher Feature Who: Michelle Cagney What: Sixth-eighth grade art teacher Where: Folsom Middle School --- Q: How long have you been a teacher and why did you want to get into the education field? A: I have been a teacher 13 years. I began my professional life in corporate public relations and the money was great, but something was missing. I went into education because I wanted to be able to make a difference on a daily basis. Working with kids is always new and exciting, and you always have to be prepared for the unexpected. They keep you on your toes! Q: What do you enjoy about the subject(s) you teach? A: I love instilling a love of art in my students; but more than that, I love getting those students in my class that say, “I don’t know why I am in this class, I can’t draw.” And I can tell them, “That is exactly why you are in this class. We will find some kind of art that you enjoy – just wait.” Q: What do you enjoy about working at Folsom Middle School? A: Seeing kids from around town, through elementary school, sports teams, church and other activities, who are in my classes. It gives us a new way of relating to each other, and I get to see them grow up a bit over their middle school years. Q: What methods/tools do you use to challenge yourself as a teacher? A: My main goal is to make every student feel successful. I use lots of self-reflection, input from my students, administration, parents and other staff members. I also try to incorporate things that I see going on in the community into the art we create, as well as bringing in new technology to enhance student creativity in their art projects. Q: What are your hopes for the futures of your students? A: To feel confident that they can attempt anything. Every student may not exit my class as a world-class artist, but they will have found something they enjoyed about art and know that they tried many new things in my classes.