Anyone who has had the chance to meet Mrs. Neri knows how lovely she is. She is being featured for September’s Teacher of the Month. She has been working here for 15 years, and her journey to The Morgan School was an interesting one.
“I was working at a Japanese school in New Greenwich. And when I took that job, I assumed that they were all bilingual, but I was wrong. So it was challenging to teach in a place where I didn’t know the language or really much about their culture. So after four years, I was very interested in coming back to an American school. I enjoyed the experience, but it was great to come back and teach in a public school in a nice town.”
She hadn’t always known she wanted to be an art teacher, though. “I went to the University of Connecticut, and my focus then was getting a degree in fine arts. I focused on getting a degree in fine arts with a major in painting, but after leaving college I saw that I needed a real job and so I went back to school for a year so that I would be able to teach. It wasn’t my first focus, but it became one when I saw that one needs to support oneself.”
Luckily enough, she recognized her love for art at a very young age. She said, “My earliest memory is being in first grade, and it was my turn to be at the easel. I do distinctly remember enjoying working at the easel with the paint, so I think something was triggered then- it awakened a desire to pursue art. I think I was born with that interest.”
When asked about her favorite part about teaching, she answered, “…the positive interactions with the students- getting to know them and seeing that they are enjoying themselves while they work with different supplies.”
If you take anything away from this article, take what Mrs. Neri said about why art is important: “Even if a student isn’t especially gifted or talented, teaching art to them enriches their lives by hopefully opening up their eyes to the art that’s all around them everyday. Maybe kids don’t realize that everything they touch or see has been designed by someone, and I guess opening up their eyes so they can see and appreciate their environment more. When they’re an adult, they could pick the right color to paint the front door of their house so they don’t pick an ugly color.”
In a previous interview, Art, More than a Class, Mrs. Neri shared some of the same views as above. You can see how her views have changed or stayed the same after several years.
Finally, Mrs. Neri says she’s looking forward to working in the new building and seeing her new art room. “I want more storage space!” she laughed.
Who do you think should be October’s Teacher of the Month? Leave a comment below!