by Polly Patrono-Carlson
Sarah Auld is everything one would expect from an art teacher. She is positive, creative, and extremely thoughtful. Her room and the various cases around the school—full of student work—show how proud she is of her students and their accomplishments.
A 2016 graduate from Millersville University, Sarah started her new adventure at Gettysburg Area Middle School (GAMS) far from her hometown of Easton. She says the best part of teaching is the unexpected, “There is never a boring day.”
For Miss Auld, the importance of arts education is giving students an opportunity to create, to problem solve, and to feel accomplished. Arts education is not just about the end product, but more importantly, it is about the journey to reach it. In her classes, students have a chance to create from their own vision, learning along the way that there may be more than one way to get there.
Currently, her class is working on creating art using exacto knives. Scary…yes, but the projects so far have been amazing. When tuned in to a mindful process, students have produced animals, everyday household objects and even the Eiffel Tower out of cardboard, using just a knife and a little imagination.
Sarah encourages her students to interpret the word “connection” as they develop their own inspiration for project ideas. Once they create their own vision in their minds, they are given a practical tool to express themselves through their ideas. This process of challenge, creation and accomplishment summarizes the importance of arts education in school.
Sarah knows that with the demands of testing and their many obligations, kids often feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. She hopes that art and her classroom offer students the necessary place to connect, solve problems and create. Art is a haven she is happy to provide for the students at Gettysburg Middle School.
There are many students who shine in the art classroom, and who deserve a place to pursue those interests further outside of school. Like any skill, art requires practice, and the more opportunities we can offer students to explore, create, and problem solve, the better. With this in mind, we hope you will consider a donation to the Adams County Arts Council’s Arts Benefit Children (ABC) campaign, where every three $50 donations sends a child to a summer arts camp. Every dollar counts – thank you for your support!