As we get ready to start the new school year, let’s continue to get to know some of our fabulous STEAM teachers. Today we’ll introduce you to Lyndsey Pheister.
Lyndsey is one of the faces you’ll see most often around the STEAM school, and is a Coordinator on our leadership team. In addition to all of her operational and administrative tasks, Lyndsey will also be teaching art classes at STEAM this semester.
How did you first find out about The STEAM School?
LP: I heard about it through some of the families who were starting it. Their values and mission echoed my own philosophies about home education. I have four boys, and we were looking for a community where they could have friendships and feel some independence and ownership of their education, but where we could still have flexibility in our curriculum choices and schedule.
How have you been involved in the past, and what role(s) will you be filling this coming school year?
LP: I started the first year as a volunteer in the nursery and as a sub, and started teaching and helping on our leadership team last year, and stepped in as interim coordinator in the spring. This year I will continue teaching art, helping in coding and robotics, and will continue on as co-coordinator along with Laurel Blackmon.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at STEAM?
LP: I know everyone says the kids, but they are seriously the best. The kids have moved up in their classes together over the past three years, and it’s been awesome to watch them grow together. Beyond that, I love that we have a small community, not just for kids, but for parents too, where everyone comes together despite their diverse backgrounds, learning styles and opinions. I love that we help make homeschooling either more possible, or a richer experience for our families. We get to be a bridge that connects parent talents, resources and experiences, which is really valuable.
What is your background/experience with the topic you’ll be teaching?
LP: I fell in love with art and the art world in high school and majored in fine arts in college with a focus on painting and a minor in art history. After college I taught painting and drawing in community classes (including with other homeschool groups), and did private instruction. I also ran a business designing and creating messenger bags with custom artwork on the flaps. I’m currently working on landscape and macro photography, but still take time to paint, draw, sculpt and sew to make samples for class projects.
Any sneak peeks you can share about what learners in your class might be working on this coming semester?
LP: This year we’ll be looking at how art helps us with big ideas. We’ll start by looking at the creative process and how to generate new ideas when your brain feels stuck. Then we’ll see how we can use things like light and color to create a mood, and to express feelings. We’ll end the semester by looking at identity, to see how art can be used to express who we are. I’m really excited about a field trip we have planned near Thanksgiving to go to the Hirshhorn Museum in DC, because they have an interactive robot museum guide, and also because the whole museum is full of art that expresses big ideas.
Tell us a little about your personal interests/hobbies.
LP: I love to get out in the woods, either by myself or as a family, so anything related to that. We like to go camping and backpacking on the weekends to find hidden waterfalls or a mountain peak with a great view. I’m mom to four boys, so most of my week day free time is spent with them, or shuttling them to friends houses or sports.
What is one goal you have for yourself and/or your students in this coming school year?
LP: Picasso famously said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” My goal is to help them understand how they are each artists now, in the hope that they’ll still believe it about themselves as they get older. A big part of that is helping kids to be encouraged instead of discouraged by their mistakes, which is good general advice too, I think.