Challenger MS art teacher gets creative, makes art kits for students

Posted at 8:31 AM, Dec 31, 2020

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Teachers all over the country have had to deal with the difficult challenge of teaching remotely. But have you ever thought of what teachers of more “hands on learning,” such as art classes, have done?

“I kind of feel like a lot of these kids kind of got robbed of that because you know the whole pandemic,” said David Contreras.

Contreras teaches 7th and 8th grade art at Challenger Middle School. In a joint effort with fellow teachers and the Sunnyside School District, he was able to put together art kits for all of his students.

“It was just kind of putting together what I could you know to give the kids the experience that I give them in the classroom when we're here. So I just felt it was necessary to kind of keep the kids motivated, keep them engaged and, you know, just have that art outlet for them to just have supplies at home,” said Contreras.

For months Contreras tried to think outside of the box to make creative ways to keep his art students engaged while learning from home.

“A lot of times I give the students options to go outside of what I'm asking for in a project and, you know, a lot of them really like to kind of have that freedom to just, you know, experiment or do something different,” said Contreras.

For example, one assignment he turned it into a friendly competition, trying to keep his students’ eyes on the prize of finishing off their last few weeks.

“I feel like when they're here in the classroom, it's a different story because I have so many supplies and that's kind of, I have my room where they can just get up and get what they need. And so like you know that that factor of them not being here like really kind of diminished like what you know what we could do, or what we couldn't do,” said Contreras.