From parent Chris Carson about Mrs. Counterman:
My two children (aged 9 and 11) are privileged to study art with Laurie Counterman.
She does all of the things that a parent would hope for from a great art teacher. She teaches the kids techniques, and she encourages them to explore different artistic media. She always makes sure that they have an understanding of the history of art as well as the artists who have marked the canvas of our world.
However, that doesn't even scratch the surface of what makes Mrs. Counterman special.
My 9 year old, Katie, said that the best thing about Mrs. Counterman is that she is always positive. She said, "No matter what new thing you are doing, Mrs. Counterman never doubts you can do it."
My 11 year old, Josh, said that it's how much Mrs. Counterman loves art that makes her such a great teacher. "She makes me try new things and wants me to get better at different types of art. It's hard, like taking your vitamins, but it's good."
From my own standpoint as a parent, my favorite thing about Mrs. Counterman is that she gives kids a safe place to take risks with their art--to explore an artistic expression of self that leaves no room for self doubt or fear. They can try and fail safely, inspiring in them the courage to try again. I love that she teaches all of the kids to sign all of their work--to be proud of all of their creations. I love seeing the "process" of the projects they undertake--from notes and sketches in their sketchbook to the finished product. I love that they brag about what they are doing in art at the dinner table, with no need for me to ask, "What did you learn in school today?"
I know that my kids are better artists for having learned from Mrs. Counterman...but I also know they are better people--capable of self expression and courageous exploration.