Roland ~ The Early Years

By craigr
  • My First Memory of Art Class

    My First Memory of Art Class
    Most of my memories of Mrs White's third grade classroom are in black-and-white. The only joy I remember from that year was on Thursdays the art teacher Mrs Ebel would enter the room pushing her cart. The room then turned to color. Mrs. Ebel had a pair of 12-inch scissors that she used to cut paper. As she glided through the paper with her scissors, the pieces she cut off would gently cascade to the floor. Mrs Ebel is why I became an Art teacher and now have my own pair of 12-inch scissors.
  • Art in High School

    Art in High School
    In high school, I had two art teachers Mr Mann (2nd from right) and Mr. Ebel (far right) both of which fueled my interest in Art. Mr Mann taught me that Art didn't have to be realistic and Mr Ebel took us on field trips to see art in New York City museums, which opened up a huge window on the World of Art for me.
  • First Field trip to New York City

    First Field trip to New York City
    In the Spring of 1968, I took the first of two field trips to New York City with my high school art club led by Mr Ebel.The highlight of the trip for me was seeing an exhibition of Andrew Wyeth's work at the Museum of Modern Art, in which I first encountered his Christina's World. I have returned to MoMA many times over the years to revisit this "old friend."
  • My College Years

    My College Years
    In The Fall of 1969, I began my art studies at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. Living away from home, I started thinking for the first time about "what I wanted to be when I grew up." While I entertained ideas of going off to New York City to become an "artist" after graduation, reality set in and I decided a career as an art teacher was the best course for me to take.
  • Student Teaching in Rock Michigan

    Student Teaching in Rock Michigan
    In the Spring of 1973, I did my student teaching with Michael Friend in Rock Michigan. This required daily one-hour drives through the Upper Peninsula from Marquette to Rock and back. Mike was a great cooperating teacher who helped me develop my "chops" for art teaching by giving up his classroom to me for 16 weeks. He taught me that I didn't need to know something completely in order to teach it, rather I could learn about it along with my students.
  • My First Teaching Postion ~ ASF of Monterrey, Mexico

    My First Teaching Postion ~ ASF of Monterrey, Mexico
    In early August of 1973, my wife Sue and I set out in a Dodge van from the UP of Michigan to drive to Monterrey, Mexico where I got my first art teaching position at the American School Foundation. The six years we lived in Mexico were extraordinary, not only because its really where I learned to be an art teacher but also because we lived in a region and a culture that was in many ways the complete opposite of where we grew up in the suburbs of Detroit.
  • Super 8 Movie Making

    Super 8 Movie Making
    One of the things I spent a lot of time doing early in my teaching career was teaching myself about all the things I wanted to teach my students, but I didn't learn in college. I purchased a Super-8 Movie camera at the end of my first year of teaching and learned how to use it over the summer. The following school year, we did filmmaking and clay animation for the first time in several of my classes. I still teach animation today.
  • Christmas in Oaxaca, Mexico

    Christmas in Oaxaca, Mexico
    While our original plans were to spend a year or two in Mexico before returning to the states, we actually ended up living there for six years. The primary reason is we so enjoyed traveling around the country visiting Pre-Columbian Ruins and cities like Oaxaca where we fell in love with Mexican culture and crafts. My time in Mexico taught me to appreciate the similarities and differences among world cultures.
  • Returning to Graduate School

    Returning to Graduate School
    In 1976, we moved to Oxford Ohio where I went to Miami University to obtain my Master of Arts in Art Education. There I studied with John Michael who introduced me to the history of art education and authors like Viktor Lowenfeld. As a graduate student, I was eager to close a gap I felt existed in my knowledge of art education. After Miami and a year teaching at a Ohio middle school, we returned to Mexico for another 3 years in Monterrey and my old job at the American School.
  • Road Trip to First NAEA Convention

    Road Trip to  First NAEA Convention
    After a seven-year stretch as a K-12 art teacher, I decided to make the jump to university-level teaching and began work on a doctorate degree at Illinois State University in 1980. It was on a road trip a group of us took to my first NAEA conference in Chicago where I first started thinking about teaching "big ideas" in art. I called them foundational ideas at the time.