Dallas County High School art teacher Jo Taylor, left, works with a student on a pottery project during class last week. -- Jay Sowers
Dallas County High School art teacher Jo Taylor, left, works with a student on a pottery project during class last week. -- Jay Sowers

Taylor’s teachings spark creativity

Published 10:53pm Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jo Taylor has been teaching visual arts at Dallas County High School since 2007, and in that time she said her favorite moments have come while watching students embrace the inner creativity they were previously unaware of.

“For a teacher, awesome is not the word; it is one of the most heartfelt experiences to work so hard and watch somebody accomplish something they didn’t think they could,” Taylor said. “It’s really is so rewarding to watch that transformation.”

Taylor is currently teaching two session of visual arts to students in their sophomore, junior and senior years at DCHS, at period when she said each pupil has so much creative potential that can be tapped.

“If you can get their creativity moving, their creativity and their art work will blow you away with what they can do,” Taylor said. “We are trying to give the visual arts students a broad experience with the different mediums so if there is something they really enjoy, they can plug it in later.”

Class begins each day with the students sitting at their desks, learning from Taylor as they would in any other class. But during the second half of the class students head to large tables at the back of the room where they have had the chance to work on drawing, painting, clay and wire sculpture projects with their own hands.

Sophomore Matt Solomon said it is the latter portion of the class that has made the course so enjoyable for him.

“My favorite thing is how much hands-on learning we do,” Solomon said. “She’s a real good teacher, because she can make every lesson and every activity really fun for us.”

Dallas County Assistant Principal Paul Thomas said the lessons Taylor teaches in the art studio will benefit the students long after graduation.

“What she is able to do in the classroom is so important because art drives creativeness within students and sometimes students don’t initially realize how important it is to not only develop a creative approach to problems in life, but how to also practice that approach,” Thomas said. “She definitely has a love and affection for art, and she has tremendous talent for reaching her students through the lessons and projects she teaches.”

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