22 May Teacher Spotlight: Marg Groff
Every Friday we are highlighting one of our truly amazing teachers. This week the spotlight falls on the Head of the Art department, Margaret Groff.
Where are you from?
I’m from both India and the US. I was born in India and attended Woodstock through Grade 9 when my family moved back to Indiana. My current home in the US is Seattle, Washington, where I lived for more than 30 years.
What courses do you teach?
I teach Drawing and Painting, 3D Design, and AP Studio Art.
How many years have you been teaching?
This is my second year teaching at the high school level. Prior to that I taught in art museums, all ages from elementary to adult, for about 15 years. I also have several years of experience teaching at the college level.
What makes you feel fulfilled as a teacher?
I feel fulfilled as a teacher when students find their own inner motivation to make art—when they start coming in to the studio during lunch break, study halls, and after school; when they don’t want to leave when the bell rings; when they check out materials so they can work on their projects in the dorms. It’s no longer just about getting the assignment done, it’s about taking pleasure and pride in their work.
What are you currently working on in your classroom?
Interesting and surprising things happen every day in an art classroom. The same assignment yields a myriad different creative solutions. Recently in the 3D class, students were given the assignment to build a totem animal headdress out of cardboard. They produced a bold array of creatures fit for any parade.
In the painting class, students have been “playing” with paint, using knives, forks, spoons, sponges, and other tools in addition to brushes to create unusual textures, unexpected color mixtures, and happy accidents. This “play” then finds its way magically back into their “serious” paintings.
What is your favorite part of teaching at Woodstock?
My favorite part of teaching at Woodstock is really all of the caring and interesting people who find their way here—whether students or staff. It’s an eclectic and fascinating mix. And then, I have to say also—the view from my classroom on the top floor of the Media Center.
What do you appreciate about Woodstock students?
I appreciate the fact that Woodstock students are such a mix—of races, cultures, value structures, life circumstances, not to mention individual personalities—all trying to get along, understand, and respect each other on a 24/7 basis. It’s not easy and it’s imperfect as all human endeavors are, but it’s like a small laboratory representing our big world.