By Sara Nelson
Happy “Where Do You Work?” Wednesday! This week meet alumna Casey Leonard (BFA ’13 Studio Art and Art Education).
Leonard works as a middle school art instructor and ELP art instructor, teaching 5th-8th grade at Mid-Prairie Middle School in Kalona, Iowa. This is her 4th year in the district.
“The things that make teaching challenging are also the same things that make it so enjoyable: it is unpredictable, constantly evolving, and each day is different,” says Leonard. “I love teaching art because it connects so well to other subjects and allows students the opportunity for self-expression, hands-on learning, and creative thinking.”
Leonard is grateful to Associate Professor Katrina Sanders, among other professors, who taught her about the many inequalities that negatively impact marginalized students, and helped to make her more mindful of her own biases in the classroom. She is also thankful for Clinical Professor Nancy Langguth, who reached out to Leonard after graduation on numerous occasions to see how she was doing in her teaching position.
“Even though the University of Iowa is huge, I felt that I was part of a smaller community within the College of Education, where I got to know my fellow students as well,” says Leonard. “All of the faculty in the College of Education truly care about helping students succeed, not only during their time in school, but also into their professional lives following graduation.”
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