A little about me...
Born in the U.K., but raised in the States, I have been a lifelong resident of northern New Jersey. I come from a large family, 50% of which are educators. (38% are Art teachers!) My identical twin sister (Mrs. Speronza) teaches art in our district, too!...try not to get us mixed up! :-) One of my big brothers is also an elementary art teacher and was a huge positive influence on me as a young artist. He's a pretty cool dude, so I wanted to be just like him. My love for creating Art led me to CCM from which I graduated with honors and transferred on with a full tuition scholarship to Montclair State University, where I completed a double major in Fine Arts and French Civilization. Oui, je parle le francais aussi, mais c'est tres "rusty."
These days, I am a big fan of running long distances in cool weather (half marathons are my fave), painting, drawing, doodling, kickboxing, quiet train rides, music, good books and a proper cup of tea. However, since I am a mom to a blended family of 5 boys, I also love superheroes, constructing towers out of blocks, cardboard sword fights, and playing the piano while my children bang on the keys next to me.
I believe self-expression is the best route to happiness, and I hope that my students are able to come to that realization sooner than I did. I believe we grow and learn from each other, and encourage my students to learn from the techniques of artists around the world.
I am so, so grateful and super lucky that I get to be a teacher in this wonderful district where I have *SUCH* cool students. Peace and love, kids!
A little about our art classes...
We have a lot of Choice in art, after we learn the basics. This means that we will spend the first half of the school year learning and working on teacher-planned projects (just like most traditional art classes!) And then, during the later months of the school year, students will be driving their own projects. Most likely, this will occur in May and June. It means that students will be selecting their materials and learning about proper ways to use supplies and to share supplies. It means that students will be making choices about the subject of their artwork, and students will decide when their work is finished. This also means that when those projects come home, they might not be as polished as the more traditional "step by step" art projects, but students are sure to be proud of and excited to talk about their artwork. Parents, please feel free to ask them what they are most proud of, why they chose those materials, and how they made their art.
Smocky-smock-smocks. Sometimes, we're going to use messy supplies. Smocks work...when kids remember to bring them, or to wear them, or which one is theirs. Most of my supplies are washable (or I'd be covered in them, too!) but sometimes paints stain. I recommend sending kids to school in play clothes when they are scheduled to have art, not their best white t-shirt. **I have been lucky enough to procure Aprons this year from our wonderful PTAs...let's hope your kid wears one when we do messy things. (haha)
Finally, we are going to have so much fun! To my young artists, I can't wait to see all of the wonderful art you are going to make this year!!