"Expect the unexpected," is what Becky McKinley said when asked what students can expect when they walk into her classroom at St. Cyprian's Episcopal School where she teaches art.
"We may be doing clay one minute, we may be painting one minute, we may be drawing another minute, or we may be researching art history," she said. "To me, everything in art is so different, so just expect the unexpected."
Becky graduated from Lamar University with a degree in interior design. When she was getting ready to walk the stage she had the thought that she wanted to return to get her teaching certificate. So, she did. Years later, she is teaching art to students of all ages.
"My favorite lesson to teach is ceramics," Becky said. "The kids get so excited about it, and I love that surprise element every time I open the kiln and see what things are going to look like."
Keep reading to discover why Becky McKinley became a teacher at SCES and what her favorite thing about teaching is.
SCES: Tell us about yourself.
Becky: I was born and raised in Beaumont. I've been married for 24 years; we're celebrating 25 years next month. We have two kids, Weston and Anna-Kate. We moved to Lufkin 18 years ago. We love it here!
SCES: Why did you become a teacher?
Becky: My degree is in interior design, but when I was graduating from college I had the thought that I wanted to go back and get my teaching certificate and become an art teacher. Years later, I'm an art teacher at SCES!
SCES: What is your favorite subject?
Becky: When I was in college, I took art history and I loved it. For people in my degree, it's the hardest two classes because it's all essay tests and slide lectures. You either like it or you don't, and I loved it. I was a sponge and just soaked it up. One of my favorite things to share with the kids is the history behind the art, because the history behind the art is what was going on in the world at that time. They are getting a history lesson and they don't even realize it.
SCES: What is your favorite art lesson to teach?
Becky: My favorite lesson to teach is ceramics. The kids get so excited about it, and I love that surprise element every time I open the kiln and see what things are going to look like.
SCES: Why did you choose to teach at SCES?
Becky: We are church members of St. Cyprian's Episcopal Church. So, it was just a natural fit. I attended a small private school very much like St. Cyprian's when I grew up in Beaumont. So, when I came for my interview here, it just felt like home.
SCES: What can students expect when they enter your classroom?
Becky: To never know what to expect! We may be doing clay one minute, we may be painting one minute, we may be drawing another minute, or we may be researching art history. To me, everything in art is so different, so just expect the unexpected.
SCES: What is the best thing about being a teacher?
Becky: The thing I love is seeing the growth that takes place from the beginning of a project to the end of a project. Then apply that to the beginning of a term to the end of a term; or the beginning of a child's journey here to the end of their journey here. I love to see the growth that takes place in them. It warms my heart so much. The feeling of knowing that I'm making a difference in someone's life. You can see God at work every day here; I think that kids are our closest link to God and I love working with them every day.