Teacher Tuesday: LASD’s Mrs. Kanine.

September 1, 2020

Emily Kanine

Teacher Tuesday: LASD’s Mrs. Kanine.

Teacher Tuesday is a presentation of Shelby State Bank, www.shelbystatebank.com.

By Kate Krieger, MCP Staff Writer.

LUDINGTON – Needing to be flexible is not a foreign concept for Ludington Area Schools teacher, Emily Kanine. An art teacher at Lakeview and Franklin elementary schools, Kanine knows what it’s like to juggle between buildings and curriculum levels.

“I completed my student teaching in Chicago,” Kanine said. “My experience was teaching in a high school art room and in a third-grade general education classroom. After becoming a student teacher, I was offered a long-term middle school substitute teaching position in art at my hometown of Charlevoix. After that wonderful experience, I was offered a part-time art teacher position in Mason, Michigan. I taught at four different elementary schools pre-k through fifth grade, to about 1,500 students. After two years, I moved to the high school and taught a variety of art classes. It was a great experience, but my husband and I missed Lake Michigan and wanted to move back closer to family. That is when I was offered the position at Ludington for the third through sixth grade art teacher. After one year, I was moved to the lower elementary and have been loving it ever since.”

Having worked with so many different ages, Kanine offers her students so many different experiences with different art mediums and she said she has had a passion for art and working with children from a very young age.

“If you read my fourth grade ‘All about Me!’ book, you will find that I knew in elementary school that I wanted to be an art teacher,” she said. “My elementary art teacher was a true inspiration. I was sort of a shy and quiet student around teachers and she made me see the passion I have for the visual arts.”

Kanine is a 1999 Charlevoix High School graduate and then went on to Adrian College and graduated in 2003. She then received her master’s degree in elementary education from Grand Valley State University in 2014.

Working with children and tapping into their artistic passions has been one of the best things while working as an art teacher, she said. The outpouring of support for the arts made her job even more special because the community valued the need to keep arts in the schools.

“My favorite thing about teaching is the excitement the students have when creating and making art, the stories they share about their artwork and the pride they have when they are done creating their masterpieces,” she said. “When I moved here, I was overwhelmed with the support from the community for the arts. I feel that this community offers many opportunities to all ages to experience the arts. I would say that art education is important for all ages because it offers an emotional outlet of expression and discovery, teaches tolerance and appreciation and unlocks one’s imagination and creativity.”

With imagination being so important when it comes to the arts, Kanine feels that sometimes she can get wrapped up in other things and forgets to stop and let her students navigate their own artistic journeys. 

“I find myself sometimes not living in the moment in teaching,” she said. “I am often thinking of what needs to be done next. I think we need to, as a society, to slow down and allow kids to be kids.

Looking forward to the start of the new school year, Kanine will be facing some changes to her normalcy, but she’s not letting the hiccups COVID-19 have brought about to keep her from spreading her love for the arts to all of her students, whether in the classroom or online.

“This past spring when the schools closed down, I described it as surreal,” she said. “I tried my best under the circumstances to offer visual art lessons through creating videos and showing examples of artwork. I know I really missed being in the art room. This coming school year will be different. I will be on a cart going into every classroom once a week. I am trying to get creative with lessons and materials to avoid sharing the different art mediums between students. Students will need to bring in his or her own paint shirt to keep in the classroom. In addition to traveling room to room between both buildings, I will have correspondence with 12 students that chose the 2A virtual option. I will also need to create videos of my art lessons for the students that chose option 2B online learning. This will be a very different and busy year. I am looking forward to sharing my passion for art with the students and getting creative.” 

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