Friday, June 22, 2018

Christina Warren makes a connection with students through art by Matt Pascarella

Warren with her fans (aka students)
Christina Warren is a practicing artist and an art teacher at Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond. She works in encaustic wax, or hot wax painting, which involves adding colored pigments to melted wax. She has a studio in her home where she has shown her work, sold her work and is currently working on a Maine series with postcards.

Warren has been going to art school since the 5th grade, which at that time was the Portland School of Art. By the time she was 18, there was no doubt in her mind she wanted to be an artist. She got her fine arts degree at the Portland College of Art, now the Maine College of Art.

Making it as an artist is not easy, so when her kids began school, Warren began subbing in the Windham district. This made her a better art teacher, as she understood more about classroom teaching. While subbing, the teachers encouraged her to be a teacher and go back to school. She went to the University of Southern Maine and got her teaching certificate. She was quickly hired at Windham Primary School. She taught there for a while and after some district restructuring, moved to Jordan-Small Middle School where Warren enjoys the small classroom and learning environment.“I’ve gotten to know the kids, I can teach to their skills,” she explains. “I can have a sequence. I start in 5th grade and build their skills right to the 8th grade. The kids’ work is coming out phenomenal.” She gets to know them personally and that makes a difference. The students take care of the teachers as much as the teachers take care of the students.

Warren went back to get her master’s in Integrated Arts and Curriculum Development through a weekend program at Lesley University; graduating in 2009. She integrates her curriculum with other subjects like science, by creating stop motion movies of planets; or health by studying advertising, discussing persuasion and then making a piece of art out of an ad.

Warren’s goal as an art teacher is to have students think and problem solve like artists once they leave her class. If they can approach any project the way an artist would; reflect experiment, practice and maybe add color – then she’s done.

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