Sunday, September 5, 2010

Patricia Gulino: Love and Light

I am so thrilled to celebrate the wonderful Patricia Gulino in the first Teacher Testimony of the 2010-2011 school year.  I am moving beyond the walls of my school to feature Mrs. Gulino who teaches at one of the other schools in my district, Chaffey High School.  Although I have known Patty for years (she is the GATE Coordinator for her school as I am at mine), I asked her to participate in Teacher Testimony after she was nominated by a former student of hers who described her as "one of the most influential people of my life." Patty has been teaching for 22 years and currently teaches Art History for 11th and 12th grade students. 

SE: Why did you decide to become a teacher?
PG: A complete love of the history of art and a need to communicate that enthusiasm to others led me to look for an avenue to spend my day talking about it.  While I could have chosen work in a museum, I believe that the museum environment would not have offered me the daily opportunity to bring the subject alive.

SE: How did you choose what subject/grade you wanted to teach?
PG: After spending some time student teaching in a high school, I knew that high school-age students were the right audience for me.  I guess I am still very much in touch with the teenager I used to be.

SE: What have you learned about yourself and the world by being a teacher?
PG: The young adults I teach are open, caring and generous people….because of them, I am optimistic about the future.  I am honored to be in their presence every day…they are a great gift to me.

SE: Did you have a teacher who inspired you when you were in school?  
PG: I had some wonderful university professors who still inspire my teaching today.  Perhaps because I did not experience especially inspiring high school teachers…I am dedicated to helping my students see our study of art history as valuable and worthwhile every day.

SE: When your students look back on their time with you, what is it you hope they remember?  
PG: I hope they remember that my love of art history, and respect and caring for them, resulted in a memorable learning experience.

SE: If you were speaking to a brand new teacher, what one piece of advice would you pass along? 
PG: Respect your audience…good preparation is a must.  A positive teacher will result in an affirming and collaborative learning environment.

SE: What has been the most touching?   
PG: The incredible tears when seniors graduate; their expressions of gratitude and love of the visual arts.

SE: What goals or dreams do you have for yourself in terms of your craft?  
PG: Excellence.  I want to be able reach every student every day.

SE: What metaphor would be most appropriate for you as a teacher? 
PG: I strive, like so many of my colleagues, to be like a ‘lamp of knowledge’…warm, illuminating and compelling.

SE: Any other info you'd like to share?   
PG: I love Paris.

Patty has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. Her passion, her confidence and her love of the arts make her a natural superstar. But her graciousness, her vibrancy, and her willingness to celebrate the talents and beauty in others make her shine even brighter.  Instead of basking in the spotlight alone, she widens it to include all of the students and colleagues who are blessed to have been touched by her.


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