Elementary Art Teacher
Elementary art teacher Hannah McLean’s classroom is adorned in student artwork. From self-portraits to a painted paper plate floral arrangement, the classroom exudes joy, creativity, and McLean’s support for her students.
For McLean, a love for art runs in the family. McLean’s mother taught her to love art from a young age, signing her up for an art class when she was young. “She’s artistic in everything she does, so I was always exposed to it,” McLean said.
During her time as a student at Herron High School, McLean had an art teacher who encouraged her to create. After experiencing the impact of her own art teacher, McLean decided that she wanted to have that same impact on young kids. She came to Heritage in fall 2016, shortly after graduating from Taylor University.
I’m so thankful to be at Heritage, because here I get to explicitly teach about the Creator.
McLean sees her placement at Heritage as an open door that the Lord provided. Heritage begins with the concept that humans are image bearers who reflect God’s creation. Through this, McLean believes that kids learn that creativity is God’s idea–a way to learn about Him and reflect His glory. “I’m so thankful to be at Heritage, because here I get to explicitly teach about the Creator,” McLean said.
Art allows McLean to encourage each student regardless of his or her level. McLean begins each class period seated on a short-legged, wooden chair upholstered with multi-colored, quilted fabrics. It’s the perfect height to allow McLean to interact with her young students, gathered in front of her, cross-legged on a bright floral rug. A blackboard sits on an easel beside her with the handwritten words, “Our God is a great artist! Let’s be like Him.” From this perspective, McLean prays with her students and instructs them of the day’s assignment before sending them to their tables.
Over the course of the year, McLean teaches her students the foundational elements and principles of art: lines, shapes, colors, space, form, texture, balance, contrast, etc. One of McLean’s favorite art projects to teach her class is paper plate looms. “The kids got so excited about it and wanted to do it everyday,” McLean said. “Some of the students even told me they were continuing their projects at home.”
McLean’s awareness of the foundational nature of elementary art creates an environment for students transitioning into middle and high school to develop continued interest and skills to aid them in the coming years.