Gilbertsville-Mount Upton English teacher Aimee Piedmonte was awarded the prestigious Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Summer Institute: Teaching the Humanities through Art this past summer.
Aimee joined other middle and high school educators during the weeklong workshop in early July, spending nearly 40 hours at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
“I am inspired and energized to use what I learned this summer in my middle and high school English classes,” said Aimee, who gained expertise from museum educators, curators and content experts through gallery talks, discussion groups and hands-on activities. “I am eager to bring the wealth of the Smithsonian Art Institutes to my students, who may never get to otherwise see these great pieces of art.”
The workshop explored connections among American art, social studies, history and English/language arts to foster critical thinking skills, deepen student engagement with content and make interdisciplinary connections. A two-hour tour of the American Art and the Vietnam War: 1965-1975 exhibit – given by its curator, Melissa Ho – highlighted this unique professional-development opportunity.
“I’ve learned many new thinking routines for my students,” Aimee said, “and I learned in a deep way about the power of art to make a meaningful introduction and connection to literature.”
Said Phoebe Hillman, Teacher Institutes Educator for SAAM: “This year we received more than twice as many applications as we had spots available this year, so (Aimee’s) acceptance is a testament to the strength of (her) application and many qualifications.”