Catherine "Catt" Anastasia '14 of Hyannis, MA is an art education major and a ceramics minor. After student teaching at the high school level, she plans to seek a position as a high school art teacher.
How did you decide on your major and minor?
When it came time to pick a degree at the end of my freshman year, I decided to major in Art Education and minor in Ceramics.
I decided to become an Art Ed major because my art teachers from high school are the reason I furthered my education. I want to encourage and support students in the same way.
I first became interested in Ceramics when I took a class my freshman year. I'd never worked with clay before, and the material both frustrated and excited me.
How would you describe your educational experience?
Working with the faculty at UMass Dartmouth has always been an overall positive experience. The faculty and staff all want you to succeed and to become both a better artist and an all-around better person.
Most assignments and projects are open-ended so there is the ability to tie my own interests into the assignments. Emotions and the subtle movements of a person’s face fascinate me, and I was able to explore this fascination in my Ceramics thesis.
Tell us about student teaching in art at the high school level.
The greatest challenge has probably been learning to work with different kinds of people. I’ve learned to relax and go with the flow. Not everything is going to go the way you plan so it’s always important to have a back up.
Was there one "best moment"?
When working with one of my more challenging students I dropped the "teacher voice" and spoke to him honestly. I told him that he can do better, and I expect nothing but his best when he's in my class. He came up to me a few days later and thanked me for believing in him and pushing him to be better.
How has your involvement on campus made an impact on your life?
After joining the Ceramics and Anagama (wood firing) clubs, I was welcomed with open arms into a community of like-minded people. Through working with these organizations, I’ve been able to build a fast-fire wood kiln and be a part of a planning committee to raise money to build a full-sized kiln.
What are your plans following graduation?
I plan on finding a job teaching high school art. Eventually I want to go back to school and get my master’s degree in Ceramics.