D39's New Teachers: Katherine Robinson, Art Teacher at Harper School
A series interviewing District 39's new teachers to help you get better acquainted with these additions to the Wilmette community.
Name: Katherine Robinson
Position: Art Teacher at Harper School
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Art Education and Bachelor of Arts in Photography from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Teaching Background: Artist in residence with Changing Worlds, an educational arts nonprofit organization.
What inspired you to become an educator?
“I’m just really drawn to the creativity of my students. I also think that art allows students’ voices to be heard. It allows adults to pay attention to what they have to say through creative means. I had a preschool interview where they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said an art teacher.”
What attracted you to District 39?
“It’s sort of like where I grew up, in Oak Park. And I know it’s a community that values creative expression and the arts.”
How would you describe your teaching technique?
“I try to incorporate student leadership whenever possible. I want them to be involved with and in charge of their own learning. So, I try to provide opportunities for everyone to take charge at some point throughout the year.”
Do you have any special program that you plan on implementing or a notable, upcoming project?
“The next two weeks, I’m going to be working with the parent-teacher organization, surrounding the idea of environmental awareness. It’s the first week in October that it actually happens and we’re doing something called Do One Thing. We’re going to be working with recyclable materials and having the students brainstorm some things that they can do to help improve the environment.”
How have you liked your time in District 39 so far?
“It has been great. Everybody has been very supportive and very present around the school. I’ve felt a lot of support. The administration and other teachers have been very supportive, as well as the parents in reaching out and providing any extra advice. The students have been pretty receptive to the projects, as well. I’ve been hearing good reports.”