Jennifer Gonzalez, who teaches fourth grade at Clarence Farrington School 61, is participating in the 2023 Indiana Educator Fellowship for Creative Teachers (FCT) program.
Gonzalez is one of 20 educators from across the state chosen to participate in this innovative program sponsored by the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Department of Education. FCT celebrates and supports outstanding educators nationwide in implementing creativity-centered innovation in the classroom.
She has already attended a series of virtual learning sessions and two days of immersive, hands-on training in connecting creativity to state standards. Every FCT educator has demonstrated outstanding commitment to their teaching practice and supporting their students with the transformative power of the arts.
“I am passionate about all forms of art, and I have discovered painting as a form of therapy,” said Gonzalez, who is in her fifth year with Indianapolis Public Schools. “It is important for students to learn and use art in their academics so that they can freely express what they are comprehending. Many students struggle with writing and articulating what they want to write, therefore art allows students to answer questions and show mastery of what they have learned. “
Along with the learning experience, Gonzalez will be allowed to host a free, creative arts residency in their classroom with a guest teaching artist from the community. These artist visits are focused on using the strategies and experiences of the arts to also teach learning in core subjects like reading, math, and science.
“Ms. Gonzalez has worked tirelessly to integrate arts education within her fourth-grade classroom, said Jona Atkins, the principal at School 61. “We are looking forward to using her expertise as our school begins its journey into Arts Integration this school year.