The Sentinel: Art, drama teachers get creative in teaching hands on skills hands off

Heathe Stecklein, Director of Theatre Arts at Vista Peak Prep, watches a video along with his class, remotely, as they discuss various sound effects used to accompany visuals in film.
Photo by PHILIP B. POSTON/Sentinel Colorado

Story excerpt:

"On a recent Friday afternoon, Vista PEAK Preparatory art teacher Angie Willsea was busy assembling packets of art supplies for her students.

The bundles of sketchbooks, pencils and paper for her drawing class and palettes, brushes, paints and canvases for her painting class would get picked up by students, but for those who weren’t able to make it to campus Willsea would drive to their homes and deliver them.

It makes for a lot of extra work, but it’s something Willsea feels is worth the effort.

'It’s important for them to have the materials in their hands and not be tied to a screen the whole time,' she said.

With Aurora Public Schools currently in an online-only learning mode through at least Oct. 8 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, arts teachers have had to get creative in how they teach their subjects, which are generally best suited for hands-on instruction. Teachers say they are working harder than ever this school year, but there have been some surprising upsides to the virtual instruction."