Winnebago art teacher earns award for creativity in the classroo - – Rockford’s News Leader

Winnebago art teacher earns award for creativity in the classroom


There's no better day to honor creativity and art than on Halloween, and a Winnebago Middle School art teacher would agree, after her students surprised her with the Teacher of the Week honor.

"I just love to see their creativity and what comes out of their heads, and what they can create from the parameters I give them," says Jamie Zander-Tarara, a Winnebago Middle School art teacher.

Mrs. Jamie Zander-Tarara is considered the cool teacher at Winnebago. That's what led Josie Phillips and her fellow students to nominate her for the award.

"I think it's just her personality and how she is and how she acts younger," says Josie Phillips. "Well, I don't know how old she is, but she seems just way younger, and we can just relate to her easier."

As a high school and middle school art teacher, Zander uses her creativity to teach. Right now, they're working on shading projects, with pasta and popcorn, and self portraits.

"Every now and again, I like to bring some paintings into the classroom so they can see me working on stuff as well, so they can see what it's like to be an actual working artist," says Zander. "That seems to really peak their interest."

But Zander knows art isn't everyone's strong subject, but it's the efforts that counts.

"I try to really promote that it's not about whether you're good or bad at it. It's just whether you try," says Zander. "It's all about effort. Most kids can be successful in art if they're just trying. Just try to bring something that you are interested in and figure out how you can create something with that interest."

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