News / Arts & Entertainment

    Teacher Finds Artful Way to Inspire Students

    Teacher Finds Artful Way to Inspire Studentsi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X
    March 29, 2013 1:07 PM
    Determined to keep students engaged and interested in school, one teacher in Maryland has found an unusual way to inspire them, while also brightening the lives of people with disabilities. As VOA’s June Soh tells us, Ryan Martinez is energizing students by making art where it's not.
    June Soh

    Teacher Ryan Martinez knows how to encourage his students.

    "If there is silence, there is an opportunity for music," he says. "If there is a white surface, then there is an opportunity for color."

    Martinez teaches French at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland, outside Washington, where his classroom is decorated with colorful ceiling tiles.

    "As a teacher, you want to make your classroom space one that reflects your own approach to teaching," he says. "And when you make that an inviting, stimulating type of atmosphere, it makes it a more pleasurable learning experience."

    It all started with one tile a year ago.

    "I brought it home. I just had some blue paint and sort of just covered it, and I installed it," Martinez says. "The students noticed that. I mean, immediately, it jumped out because, in an otherwise white ceiling, all of a sudden you have some color."

    French teacher Ryan Martinez has decorated his high school classroom with colorfully painted ceiling tiles. (VOA/J. Soh)French teacher Ryan Martinez has decorated his high school classroom with colorfully painted ceiling tiles. (VOA/J. Soh)

    Martinez paints at home for 10 hours each weekend and brings the tiles back to school. He has expanded the project to other areas in the school, including teacher Maggie Mesorly's math class.

    "Students often think that math is boring, but they come and see this art and they think, maybe math isn’t going to be so boring," she says. "It can inspire their creativity in their problem solving."

    Students are encouraged to participate in the painting during their lunch breaks.

    "This is a new experience for me," says student Diego Rubey, "I think it is fantastic, and I can’t wait until it is done."

    His fellow student, Emma Schuettler, also joins in the painting. "I've felt that, if I paint ceiling tiles and so have people react to it in the classroom, that it will probably boost my confidence a little bit about my drawing."

    Martinez believes the students' participation helps them feel, in a sense, that they own the classroom.

    He has expanded his project outside the school. Now, he regularly goes to Inwood House, a residential community for adults with disabilities.

    "First it brightened up the room, and then it brightened up everyone’s feelings," says Meg Marshall, the community's manager. "And they see their own artwork up on the ceiling, it's a very awesome feeling."

    Many of the residents have never painted before.

    "What I would tell them was just, 'Do until you think it is done,' because that is what the most important thing is," Martinez says. "When you can get people to build that confidence in themselves, it is something that they can then apply in other facets of life as well."

    Martinez hopes his project will catch on in schools and beyond and bring more color to the world. 

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures