We were blown away by art teacher Deb Thomas, who just finished her 25th year of teaching. Her seventh through ninth grade Visual Arts students at Tohickon Middle School in Central Bucks School District are extraordinarily lucky, as are the rest of the students who benefit from her role as the K-12 Curriculum coordinator.
Her colleague, Sue Furfari, says, “I am always amazed by her dedication and desire to not only better herself as a teacher, but to create a welcoming yet challenging classroom and curriculum. The extraordinary projects created, and the skill level exhibited, by her students are a testament to Deb’s ability to connect with her students on all levels.”
Deb was inspired early in her career, when she “met a veteran teacher whose classroom, was ‘ART on a cart.’ He worked out of a closet, his supplies were limited, and his schedule packed! It was not an ideal teaching situation. Nevertheless, he entered each classroom with smile, a bit of humor in his voice and he delivered resourceful, rigorous and individualized art lessons.”
Deb adds, “What threaded the learners together was a teacher who through his passion for art and teaching, nurtured and established learning environments that exuded a strong sense of community, creativity, mutual respect and kindness. All of his students believed they had the power to create and be artists.” And she added, “Every day, I aspire to make sure that my students enter my room with a sense of excitement to explore the creative process and leave my room feeling proud of whatever the outcome may be that day!”
Let us know who else creates an environment where students can thrive, and we’ll feature that educator in an upcoming #TeacherTuesday.