I have been teaching art to all ages K- adult for 20 years. I began my career in Adelaide Australia but then discovered the international life. Since then I have worked in London-UK, Al Ain-UAE, Hangzhou-China, Ghana- Africa, and now Ho Chi Minh City-Vietnam.
Where are you teaching and what grades do you teach?
I am currently teaching at Saigon South International School and am the Middle School Art teacher. This is actually the first school where I have only taught grades 6,7,8.
When did you know you wanted to be an art teacher?
Despite studying the art/design teaching diploma, I didn’t actually know that I really wanted to do it until my incredible 4th-year practicum. I was at a state school which had many, many different cultures- it was quite unique at the time. The teacher who was my supervisor was ill, so I was thrown into the deep end, which was a true blessing. I loved how he had the students sharing foods and music from their cultures. The room was relaxed, welcoming and incredibly inspiring.
Who was an inspiration to you along your path to becoming an art teacher?
Other than my mum who physically drove me to the interview when I wasn’t planning on applying. I was also really inspired by one very talented middle school art teacher, who showcased his own art whilst also setting very creative tasks. He created awesome set designs and always encouraged me. Also the teacher I mentioned earlier from my 4th-year practicum he was brilliant, relaxed, incredibly supportive, welcoming, and trusting. He seriously made me want to teach.
I know it’s been a really good day in my room when the students don’t want to leave or even better, they come back with their friends or parents to show them what they did today in art class. There is nothing better than igniting confidence, pride, and passion.
My personal teaching passions are collaborating, “tradigital” teaching, working with the community and showcasing student art. Here is a talk I did for Learning2 Asia, describing how I have connected, collaborated, created and celebrated with my students,
I also love mixing paint with pixels, in particular working with the iPads in the art room. My personal inquiry into iPads in the art room began in 2012. I have documented my learning and showcased student work on my blog, https://rjardin.wordpress.com/ipad-gallery/
I love to share student success through many forms of social media.
You can follow my classes on:
Every year I am growing as a teacher, the learning never stops. I am always trying new challenging units, whilst increasing technology use, connection, collaboration and developing authentic audiences whenever I can. I love my job and am so grateful for my students, classroom and expat life.