“Mustangs Ahead” is asking teachers “Why do you teach?” This segment by Paige Venuto is about LRHS art teacher Terri Thompson.
(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Originally, I was a Medical Social Worker in gynecology. When my husband and I first moved down to Florida, we had a baby. After I had my son, I decided that I no longer wanted to go back to that job. When I was at an orientation for my son’s school, the principal asked which parents had their Bachelor’s degree. The school was short on substitute teachers and they needed help. It was from this day on that I began teaching.
My first few weeks as a substitute were in a kindergarten classroom. When I became a teacher, I taught third and fourth grade for nine years. After this time, I began to get “itchy feet.” I knew I needed a change but I didn’t know how. Not long after I heard there was a need for an art teacher at LRHS, so I applied.
I have been working at LRHS for six years. When I first began teaching art, there were 90 students who took art. The next year we had so many sign up that we had to hire another teacher, (Ms. Abby Koelsa). Now, we currently have over 600 students who are enrolled in an art class at LRHS.
I currently teach 2D1, 2D2, 2D3, 3D1, 3D2, 3D3, AP Drawing, AP 2D, AP 3D, Paint 1, 2 and 3, Fine Crafts 1 and 2, Arts Collaboration, and Ceramics 1, 2, and 3. All three of the AP art classes have had a 100% pass rate for the past two years.
My favorite part about my job is my students. I absolutely love my students. When I look at a student, I see the greatest possible person that they are going to be someday and I have to hold that vision in them until they can see it. To me, that means giving them every possibility that I possibly can.