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Claire (Thompson) Marquardt of Stratford is participating in the UW-Stout hybrid practicum course K-12 Art Education Theory, Methods and Practice.

She is the daughter of Dan and Rhonda Thompson of Stratford.

In her final college course before she begins student teaching, Marquardt is observing and developing curriculum for elementary and secondary art classrooms. She plans to graduate from UWStout in May of 2021.

Marquardt has worked with her peers to create, edit and teach her lessons.

“Getting their feedback has helped me see what they are doing differently and what I’m doing well,” she said. “Observing art classrooms virtually, it’s exciting to see how current teachers run their classroom, especially during the pandemic.”

During her interview with Osceola High School art students, Marquardt got a better glimpse into her future students’ perspectives and saw how she can be an impactful teacher.

“The most valuable thing I learned from them is the best teachers show understanding for their students’ emotions, personality and artwork and really try to build that connection and community with their students,” she said. “By building this community you can take some of their personal experiences and tie them into the lesson plans.”

Marquardt learned the biggest challenge high school students face in the art room is being satisfied with their final artwork.

“Which is completely relatable,” she said. She learned they could benefit from a final project in which they could return to an old work with a fresh set of eyes and finish a piece of art to their satisfaction.

High school students are also dealing with the life changes brought on by the pandemic.

“The pandemic is changing and taking away their high school experiences, such as sports, artistic shows, dances and graduations,” Marquardt said.

“As teachers, we can provide other opportunities to display their success and talent in a safe way. And now more than ever, we can be understanding. Their lives are changing in ways they never expected. We can’t immediately expect the exact same from our students as we were before the pandemic.”

Marquardt wishes her practicum could be in person, but she does think the hybrid course is a good alternative this semester, one that she has benefited from.

“You never know when or if you will need to or want to go back to this form of teaching,” she said. “It has prepared me for using technology and different programs that I may not have ever learned. It has made me a more universal teacher who can reach all my students’ needs.”

Marquardt would like to teach art at the middle school level.

“I think it’s the perfect balance between the fun-loving, energetic personality that many elementary students have and the more complex and mature projects that a high school art class would normally take on.”

Grab & Go crafts

Children can learn about the science and physics of snowballs by picking up a Grab & Go kit during the week of Monday, Dec. 14 thru Friday, Dec. 18, at the Marathon County Public Library’s Stratford Branch, located at 213201 Scholar St.

The kit includes supplies to make a snowball shooter and a link to view a special snowman story time online. Kits are free but they are limited to one per child.

People can call the Stratford Library at 715-687-4420 for more information or to make an appointment to get a kit via curbside pickup.

Claire Markquardt