2016 Teacher Winner
School: Druid Hills Middle School, DeKalb County Schools
Toni Bailey began her educational career shortly after receiving her Bachelor Degree of Fine Arts. After becoming involved with the teaching experience in an art summer program at Xavier University of Louisiana one year, Toni understood that teaching was her calling. Toni pursued her Master of Art in Teaching degree, and shortly afterwards she plunged into the invigorating career of education. Currently, as an art teacher she enjoys encouraging her students to explore their identities by conceptualizing their artistic interpretations. She believes more than anything that it is her obligation to help uplift students by influencing them to become citizens with qualities of care, responsibility, and self-determination. As Toni extends her teaching career she continues to absorb pedagogical wisdom and loves every second of it!
Project: Digital Storytelling
Conversations regarding the arts and humanities are very beneficial to fostering the development of critical and divergent thinking skills. Divergent thinking is the ability to think through problems using a variety of interpretations and perspectives. I propose to conduct a digital storytelling project to cultivate divergent thinking among my eighth grade students. I teach at an international school, with a very diverse population. Therefore, all of my students bring incredibly unique experiences to my classroom. I propose to enhance their divergent and critical thinking skills by exposing my students to various art pieces of all mediums by encouraging them exchange their diverse background experiences. We will observe and discuss for 12 weeks, various masterpieces of four different categories; oppression, self-portraits, enlightenment, and current events in the media.