Teacher Tuesday – Meet Ms. Corcoran!

Ms CorcoranMeet Ms. Corcoran

Ms. Corcoran is a 14-year veteran art teacher who has worked in various roles within APS since 1996.  “My interest in education was a journey that I never thought would reach me where I am today. My love of learning brought me back to education and giving back to our kids, the next Generation.”

Deane Keller Jr. is a leader who made a difference in Ms. Corcoran’s career.  “Deane was the first art teacher whom I met who taught art with great love, passion and excellence. I remember him in a figure drawing class as he gently came up to me as he sharpened his vine charcoal and asked if he could say some words about my art. After helping me, he handed me some supplies that I needed and said that I could keep them. His gesture of kindness reminds me to give. His passion for the arts came from his father who was a Monuments Man in World War ll while being a close friend of my grandfather.”

When asked about her greatest joys and challenges of the job Ms. Corcoran replied, “My greatest joy is unlocking the ability on how to draw, paint, and sculpt. I enjoy guiding students into their passion in the arts and helping them realize the joy of problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity. Daily, I rejoice when a student perseveres through what might seem like a failure into a work of art that they are proud of. My biggest challenge is writing this teacher blurb.”

“Every day I am proud when a student looks at their artwork and says that they never thought they could do that. My students win competitions yearly which affirms their growth and their talent. Yearly, about 75-90% of the art submissions to the National Scholastic Art Awards (the oldest art competition in the Nation) win an Honorable Mention, Silver and/or Gold Key. The submissions vary from almost all forms of media and subject matter. All Gold Keys move on to further jurying on a National Level.”

“In recent years, three of my students won on a National Level from the National Scholastic Art Awards. Those three 8th Graders were competing against 7-12th Grade Art Students with over 330,000 submissions nationwide and only 3,300 were accepted.”

Ms. Corcoran’s thoughts on teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Teaching during COVID-19 helped me reflect on my philosophy as an art teacher and remain true to my beliefs: a student needs to pursue what they are passionate about as I facilitate, inspire, and guide them. A student will then motivate themselves to create a work of art that they are proud of even after multiple attempts and failures. My students continue to choose their own style, technique, subject matter, media on the online platform and that is very important to me.”

Ms. Corcoran would give the following advice to those aspiring to teach.  “I advise any aspiring art teacher to continue to be the best artist that they can be outside of the classroom. Inside the classroom, be prepared to listen, observe, and believe in each of your students’ abilities. Find that key which unlocks your students’ interests, abilities, and talents, and you will find a very rewarding life.”