Katie Brehmer C’17, art education student, shares about her North Park experience.
Why did you choose North Park?
I grew up in the northwest suburbs, and I chose North Park because it was small, close to home, and had easy access to the city—a very nice combination.
What’s the Art Education program like?
The program in Art Education is a lot more challenging than most people think. The classes are rigorous and you need to be able to push yourself to be successful in both the education and art classes. You must have a passion for teaching and for art, not just one or the other. I am very proud that within my time at North Park I will have gained a double major with certifications in teaching both Special Education Students and English Language Learners. I’ve also been able to gain a great deal of knowledge from the individuals I’ve worked with while student teaching; my cooperating teacher at Foreman High School in Chicago has been such a wonderful mentor with a vast wealth of knowledge.
What do you do when you’re not in class?
I am quite busy with creating artwork for my senior solo show and working on the EdTPA for my license. I am also an RA on campus. This is my second year, and I have loved it. While working with Residence Life and Housing I have gained so many friends and have been able to develop my leadership skills. Juggling being a full-time student working toward getting my license to teach, creating a solo art show, working a full-time job student teaching, and being a Resident Assistant on campus has been challenging, but very fulfilling. I wouldn’t change this past years’ outcome.
What inspires you about Art Education?
Communication is so essential in life. Art is just another form of communication. It is a beautiful form that allows us to view the world in a different way, to make up the world we wish to see or to expose it for its realities. As one develops as an artist, it is easier to see the details in life—the specifics—that one might miss had they not analyzed life as a whole and in its parts. It allows the beauty of life to be uncovered and explored. As an art teacher, I hope that I can show young adults the importance of art in our society and that it isn’t just the paintings or sculptures in a museum, but the world around us, like the ad on a billboard or the arrangement of flowers and foliage on a front lawn.
Why’d you decide to study Art Education?
I had the most amazing art teachers in high school. Throughout North Parks education program, you will find that most of us have had an inspiring teacher that helped us realize we also wanted to teach. At Maine East High School, the Fine Arts Department Chair set such a strong example of leadership and dedication. I also had three wonderful teachers who helped me realize that I wanted to be just like them; they are very strong, intellectual, and caring women who have left a lasting mark on my character and how I teach.