Muscatine High School’s staff development day looked a little different this year. Teachers gathered on Wednesday, August 17 to learn, or relearn, a lesson that many have learned before.

Kim Blakesley showed the teachers a completed painting and told the room full of skeptical novices that they would be recreating the image.

While Blakesley deconstructed the image and gave simple, easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions, smaller lessons were woven in. Blakesley discussed the need for different brushes to create different images.

The lesson being woven into the dialogue was about different learning styles, and how everyone sees things differently and comes into the classroom with different tools and experiences behind them.

Prior to the art session, many teachers filled out a survey discussing their comfort level with art. A large majority of participants were skeptical as to their ability to complete the painting.

At the end of the painting lesson, new MHS principal Jared Smith spoke to the group about how many students may feel the same reservations entering their classrooms that the teachers felt when being asked to try something they were unsure of.

Smith hopes that the teachers will view the painting, whether in their offices or classrooms, and be reminded to think of the tools that their students may working with.