For nine years Adams 12 art teacher Debbie Brooks has taken her teaching skills out of the classroom and into the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. …
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For nine years Adams 12 art teacher Debbie Brooks has taken her teaching skills out of the classroom and into the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster.
Brooks teaches a variety of teacher workshops, collaborating with professionals at the Butterfly Pavilion, the first stand-alone, nonprofit invertebrate zoo in the nation. The workshops have both an art and science focus, some with an emphasis on spiders, others on flies and bugs. But whatever the subject, Brooks said, she enjoys the interaction with the other teachers.
“I really value the time I have working with other adults. I just love it,” she said. “My goal is to help the teachers feel successful in their artwork because it’s not about who can make the prettiest picture, it’s about doing something creative and being proud of it. And of course enjoying yourself while doing it.”
Nicole Bickford, vice president of programs and exhibits at the Butterfly Pavilion, said the pavilion has teamed up with the Colorado School of Mines to provide the teacher workshops for 14 years. The goal is to provide teachers with both content knowledge and re-certification credits. She said the workshops are collaborative, allowing the teachers to work closely together, and are also interdisciplinary.
“The workshops are hands-on and interactive, and teachers of all levels — from kindergarten to high school — can benefit and learn something to take back to their classrooms,” she said. “We are also providing connections between teachers from other districts. We have people coming from all over the metro area as well as other areas.”
The workshops are popular, with many teachers signing up multiple times, Bickford said. To keep interest high, the Butterfly Pavilion will debut new workshops next year.
“We love to see people come back time and time again,” she said. “We can see the actual growth of their content knowledge as well as how they apply what they have learned into their own classrooms. It’s really fantastic.”
The workshops are available during the summer and fall. Teachers can choose from two-day, one-day and half-day workshops. The cost varies from $35 to $90 per workshop. For more information, go online to www.butterflies.org.
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