I’m a visual person… I see in pictures. I think in pictures and I process information visually. I’m a visual learner. Because of this, I have a heart to help visual kids become more successful and use my skills to assist them figuring out why they are amazing. My work in art has empowered me to help them become the best that they can be.
I’m an artist… I love art. I love to do art, see art and make art. I’m emotionally moved by visual experiences and attracted to the beauty of line, pattern and color. I’m an art nerd.
I’m an educator… My fine arts degree and exposure to Montessori education enabled me to develop Young Rembrandts, a unique approach to teaching art and drawing through demonstration and step-by-step instruction.
I’m a business woman… I founded Young Rembrandts out of my passion for art and children. My visual thinking skills and MBA helped me to grow my business into a successful international franchise company and spread the Power of Drawing across the globe.
I’m an author… After I realized that many of my strengths; being visual, relational, collaborative and innovative have been developed through my years of participation in the arts, I wrote Being Visual. In it I share my experience, research and what other education experts have to say about the value of the arts and right-brain, visual-spatial thinking.
I’m a wife and mother… I am a mother of four, grandmother of two and wife to my high school sweetheart. Along with work; family adventures, gardening, reading and ministry work fill my days. I long for time to return to the drawing board.
As a visual-spatial person, I have felt wrong, unequal, and not good enough. There have been times when I didn’t understand or value my ways of thinking. Even when doing well, I felt like an imposter, trying to fit in and be like everyone else. But I finally know who I am, where my strengths lie and where my weaknesses can trip me up. As I have become more aware of my learning and thinking style, I appreciate my intelligence and abilities and have been able to learn what I need to be more effective. I am still wary of tests, and have accepted that it takes effort to memorize dates or details, and to prove in order to persuade. But I also now know there are times it’s worth the effort.
I also have a deep affection for children. I love to teach, help, encourage and love those who are understood as well as misunderstood. I have been eternally blessed to spend my life working with and for children, their whole lives ahead of them and the answer to our future. Children, created in perfection, can encounter serious challenges in this perilous world and we — parents and educators — are their safe haven, their lifeline. They see themselves through our eyes. They define themselves by our opinion, our assessment. When they’re met with eyes of recognition, acceptance and safety, they can relax and get on with the business of becoming. But to live easily in the position of full acceptance, understanding and compassion, we have to be willing to really see them, not as who we think they should be, but as who they really are. There are a multitude of attributes for what some would call “deficits.” It’s a choice in the eyes of the beholder. It’s not about them fitting into our systems, our expectations, but about us being open to see and do whatever needs to be done, even if it means changing ours paradigms, our fixed ideas and ourselves. It’s imperative we give heart, soul and the fullness of ourselves for all children to thrive. It’s our responsibility to help all children develop the gifts, abilities, and thinking and learning styles that innately suit them.
With increased awareness and adjustments to current assessment and educational methods, we can break the cycle of underachievement, low self-esteem, shame and confusion. Understanding will enable us to parent and teach in ways that allow our children to excel, feel confident in themselves and treasure the uniqueness of who they have been created to be.
As we raise this visual generation, confident and able to use the unique strengths of both their left and right hemispheres, we will prepare them for a future that embraces linear and non-linear, text and context, logic and intuition. The profound impact of these innovative and disciplined minds will be reflected in our schools, communities, businesses and the global marketplace.