UF Art Education Student Leads Her Own Classroom
Haley Kalb, a senior in University of Findlay’s Multi-Age Visual Arts Education Program, has been leading her own classroom at her high school alma mater, Buckeye Central High School (BCHS), in New Washington, Ohio, since the beginning of January.
Kalb plans to graduate from UF in May 2022 and was all set to complete her student teaching during the spring 2022 semester before graduation. However, in late fall of 2021, the exciting and unexpected opportunity of having her own classroom at BCHS arose. Findlay’s College of Education was able to work with Kalb to enable her long-term substitute teaching to count as her student teaching, which is a requirement for degree completion.
As a BCHS graduate, Kalb had taken several art classes throughout high school with the school’s beloved art teacher, Mrs. Betty Majoy. “Starting my freshman year of high school, she (Majoy) helped to instill that love of art in me and taught me so much,” said Kalb. “Mrs. Majoy is such a great person. As a teacher, she was so friendly, understanding, and always there for her students, she was like a friend. I think her encouragement impacted me the most; she really made me confident in myself and my ability to be an art teacher.”
Unfortunately, while Kalb has been studying at UF, Mrs. Majoy has fallen ill and has not been able to teach. BCHS Principal, Dr. Michael Martin, had remembered Kalb and that she went to college to become an art teacher. He knew she had chosen to attend a university in Northwest Ohio, however, he didn’t know which one. Therefore, Martin went the extra step, by reaching out to every university in Northwest Ohio with an art education program. He was successful in his search when he learned Kalb was studying at UF.
As a long-term substitute art teacher at BCHS, Kalb expressed that leading her own classroom is going well. “Every day is great, working with kids all day is really fun. I think that’s my favorite part of teaching. I love building relationships with my students and learning about their different personalities, every single one of them is special,” mentioned Kalb. “A benefit of being in the art classroom is a lot of the kids that I see are there because they want to be there, since art is an elective, which makes teaching them even more fun.”
A challenge that Kalb has faced in her position at BCHS that her time at Findlay has prepared her for is creating new, exciting, and creative lesson plans for her students. “I spend a lot of time brainstorming lesson plans and different project ideas. It’s really helpful getting my students’ feedback, I want to make sure I’m keeping things original and fresh for them,” stated Kalb.
Findlay’s College of Education places students in the classroom setting starting their freshman year. Kalb is grateful for this as she’s had plenty of previous classroom experience to help her feel equipped to lead her own classroom before graduation. “Being in the classroom prepares you more than anything else because you are actually doing the work that you’ll be doing throughout your career,” said Kalb. “I feel confident to be an actual art teacher, Findlay has really prepared me well for this next step of life.”
Throughout her time at Findlay, Kalb mentioned, “I’ve learned something and taken away something from every class and every professor I’ve had at UF. The professors actually care about you and want you to succeed.” She is especially thankful for her time spent learning from Valerie Escobedo, associate professor of art and chair of the department of visual and performing arts; Kerry Teeple, Ed.D., assistant professor of teaching in education; Diana Garlough, Ed.D., associate professor of education and chair of licensure and endorsements; and Julie McIntosh, Ed.D., dean of the College of Education. Along with her professors, she’s also appreciative of her supervisor, Jim Taylor. The College of Education paired her up with Taylor during her sophomore year; he has given her a great deal of advice and several pointers over the years.
As a Multi-Age Visual Arts Education student at UF, Kalb’s class schedule often consisted of a semester full of studio-based art classes and then a semester filled with her education classes and field experiences, or vice versa. “The art semesters have been great. I love all of the studio classes, but I also really enjoyed focusing on teaching and getting field experience during my education-focused semesters,” she said.
For more information on Findlay’s College of Education, visit the College of Education webpage or to learn more about UF’s Visual & Performing Arts Programs, check out the Visual & Performing Arts Programs webpage. Contact the Office of Admissions at 419-434-4732 or firstname.lastname@example.org for specific program questions or to schedule a visit.