Archived Information

Transforming Ideas for Teaching and Learning The Arts - March 1997

Arts Specialists Are Educators Who Are Also Skilled in at Least One Arts Discipline

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."
Wharton 41

It is critically important that arts specialists working in the schools be excellent dancers, artists, musicians, or thespians; and it is just as important that they be skilled as teachers. Though these teachers may, and it is hoped, will continue to be productive in their chosen disciplines, it is crucial that they find major satisfaction in the growth of others for whom they open the wonders of the arts. Teaching is hard work; it requires imagination and diligence to plan the steps that lead to understanding. Arts educators are those dancers, musicians, artists, and thespians who devote their lives to teaching.


Connie Sophocles is a music educator at Mt. Abraham High School in Bristol, Vermont. Her day starts before school begins, because her best students want to come early to make music. The day sometimes continues until 11 p.m. as her definition of music educator is extended to include responsibility for theater production. 42

Judy Rudnicke is a third-grade teacher in Danville, Illinois. She contributes to the school's theatrical productions by writing original scripts. She is also interested in the visual arts and talks about her visits to museums and shares her ideas and reproductions of artwork with her colleagues. Her influence has extended beyond the classroom to the school via her involvement in the theater and her advice and suggestions to other teachers. 43

[Employ Modern Technology to Encourage Imaginative Use of Artistic Material] [Table of Contents] [Enriching the Experiences of All Children as They Study Literature, History, Geography, Foreign Languages, Math, or Science is a Gift Arts Specialists Offer the School]