• 57°

Eighth-grader leads class at Salisbury Academy

SALISBURY — Elsie Richter is creating her own masterpiece by helping her peers create works of art.

An eighth-grader at Salisbury Academy, Elsie had a bright idea in one of her middle school elective classes, called exploratories, last year.

“I remember it hit me, and I said, ‘Hey, what if I led my own exploratory?’” Elsie says.

After sharing the idea with the middle school division director and getting approval on her concepts, Elsie’s class began to take shape. Coding and programming are passions of Elsie, so she first considered the idea of teaching computer animation before settling on the topic of mixed-media art.

Exploratories at Salisbury Academy change each quarter and are offered to students in fifth through eighth grades as an opportunity to explore new ideas and areas of interest on a weekly basis. This year’s exploratories have covered topics such as yoga, running club, local history and calligraphy.

Elsie is seven weeks into her 10-week exploratory. She says that teaching her fellow students has been a fun and interesting experience.

“We all have something we can laugh at together, and it’s easy to connect with them. If someone’s having trouble, I know how to show them through it.”

“Elsie has been prepared and organized and has so naturally garnered the attention and respect of her peers,” says Margaret Hattaway, teacher liaison for the exploratory.

Along with teaching her how to write a syllabus and prepare lesson plans, Elsie says the experience has shown her that to teach is, in itself, to learn. Her watercolor lesson, for example, brought with it a few surprises.

“We had just enough watercolor palates but not enough brushes, so that was a bit of a flop,” says Elsie. “Also, my classmates didn’t like the fact that the paints spread everywhere.”

Other lessons learned have included how to give constructive criticism and technique suggestions without stifling students’ confidence and excitement for art.

The highlight of her teaching experience has been uncovering her fellow students’ talents and interests in the arts, Elsie says.

“This class has actually been very surprising for me because in a lot of my classmates I saw talent that I didn’t know they had. And I think they didn’t even know they had it,” says Elsie. “That has been a joy, definitely.”

Over the final three weeks of her exploratory, Elsie’s mixed-media students will work on personal projects — their masterpieces. Each student will choose a medium to create the artwork, from pen-and-ink, to watercolor, to digital drawing, to charcoal.

“I’m hoping they get the feeling of this being their big masterpiece,” says Elsie.

Observing from the back of the room as Elsie leads a class full of attentive students, Hattaway says the exploratory has been enjoyable to watch and support.

“Elsie is sharing her passion,” says Hattaway. “This has been a real thrill for her and an engaging learning experience for all involved, both Elsie and her peers,” she says.

Comments

Coronavirus

Brown, Williamson shed interim titles at Hurley, Corriher-Lipe

Coronavirus

During pandemic, some first responders see changes in call volumes, types

Crime

Salisbury police respond to five drug overdoses in three days

Local

April issue of Salisbury the Magazine is now available

Coronavirus

East Spencer town board to consider curfew during COVID-19 pandemic

Crime

Blotter: Man cited for trespassing, larceny at meat processing plant

Local

Post makes changes to ensure continued print publication

High School

High school basketball: McCain moves on after 5 seasons at South

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 case count increases to 22

Business

US Census: County’s population grew by 960 people from 2018 to 2019

Local

Political notebook: Hudson, Budd supported emergency coronavirus relief bill

News

Spirit of Rowan: Duke recycling unit at Buck Steam Station to repurpose 400,000 tons of ash a year

News

Spirit of Rowan: West Rowan EMS station will repurpose another part of old school

Local

Spirit of Rowan: Chewy bringing big business of online retail to Rowan’s doorstep

News

Spirit of Rowan: Cannon Ballers stadium anchors downtown Kannapolis

News

Spirit of Rowan: New hotels, overnight lodging contribute to economy

News

Spirit of Rowan: Railwalk Pavilion to be downtown’s new dynamic hub

Local

Spirit of Rowan: School’s media center finds new life as public library

News

Spirit of Rowan: 132 Flats sets precedent for new downtown apartment development

News

Spirit: New Bell Tower Green takes shape downtown

Local

Spirit of Rowan: Salisbury has ‘hit the metrics’ for new retailers

News

Spirit of Rowan: Rowan Little League builds a softball dynasty here

Local

Spirit of Rowan: Wallace Cancer Institute will provide services under one roof

Ask Us

Ask Us: What is the status of the empty lot at the corner of E. Innes and Lee Streets?