Homeschooling the Creative Child: My Creative Teachers

As an artistic person, I am especially interested in educating creative kids. While creative children may very well be able to have an interest in art, history, science, and English, many will find these subjects inane and boring without a bit of creativity on the part of the instructor.

When I was in public high school, I had a science teacher who considered my creative nature. His name was Mr. Vangor. (His is one of the few names I remember). Mr. Vangor taught Chemistry and AP chemistry. I first took chemistry as a junior in High school, and it was difficult to say the least. Mr. Vangor, however was a joy to near. His science experiments were exciting, and he was exceedingly patient. At the end of my junior year, I realized that I only needed one class to graduate high school, and I decided to take that class and a few AP classes (college level) the following year. After choosing AP English, Pre Law, and Art 4 for my senior year, Mr. Vangor hunted me down and talked me into taking his two-period AP Chemistry Class. I protested that I did not feel I could do the class any justice, but he promised me that not only would I learn college level Chemistry the next Year and never have to take a science class again since I would get college credit for it. He kept his promise.

Knowing that I had a passion for Art, Mr. Vangor took a special approach to teaching me AP Chemistry. He continued to teach the class in his good-natured humorous way, but he always gave me a few extra minutes where he would come to my desk as the other kids started their experiments and drew pictures for me. He made the table of elements into a three-dimensional wonder that my mind had no problem absorbing. When it came time to take tests, he just told me “draw the pictures”. So while the tests of most of my fellow students were covered in cryptic looking letters, mine was covered in drawings of atoms and molecules. Not only did I pass all of Mr. Vangor’s tests with flying colors, but I also passed the AP test as well, and earned my college science credit. My college major, of course, had nothing to do with science.

Mr. Vangor was a rare breed, but there were a few other teachers who made otherwise boring subjects exciting. I remember 10th grade history with Mrs. Sandberg who told miserably horrible jokes and puns as she the story of history as if it were a bedtime story. During test time, I could always close my eyes, and recall the “jokes” as well as the history facts that went along with them. Mrs. Procaccino made Algebra into a series of puzzles that I could not wait to get home and solve.

So you see, I have a bit of history and background on education a creative child as I learned best when my teachers were most creative. Stay tuned for the continuation of this series.

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