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Catching Up With Cassie Stephens (Ep. 190)

Cassie Stephens, the former host of Everyday Art Room, returns to the show today to join Nic and catch up on everything that has been happening this school year. Listen as they talk about Cassie’s new mobile classroom she developed, the book she self-published, and the support teachers need in order to be successful. And toward the end of the episode, Cassie might just share a spoiler on what’s coming next for her. Full Episode Transcript Below.

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Transcript

Nic: This is episode 190 for Everyday Art Room. Wow. For those of you who have been listening to Everyday Art Room for a period of time, you know that I am not the only host that has hosted Everyday Art Room. I think I took over at episode 99. Prior to me, it was Cassie Stephens, who we all know and love. We have invited Cassie Stephens to come onto the podcast today, and chat with me about some of the new endeavors she has going on in her life that benefit all of us. Cassie is such a wealth of information and such a real person, that I’m so excited to have her share her realness, her exciting news, and well, her time with us on Everyday Art Room. This is Nic Hahn, and this is Everyday Art Room.

Well, all right. Most people that listen to this podcast already know you, Ms. Cassie Stephens. But I would like you to just give a little introduction of what you’re doing currently, how long you’ve been teaching, your background a little bit.

Cassie:
Sure. My name is Cassie Stephens, and I have been teaching elementary art, kindergarten through fourth, I’ve never taught anything other than kindergarten through fourth, for the last 23 years. This is my 23rd year. I started out five years in Nashville, and now for the last 17, I don’t do math well, so whatever that math added together, if it makes 23, if that works, it somehow doesn’t, I don’t know. I have been just south of Nashville in a town called Franklin, and that’s where I teach.

And this year, just like everybody else, this year has been wild. I felt like a first year teacher for at least the first two months, which was an education of itself. Felt like a total failure. And then of course, after all that, it was like, I’ve been going through my burnout phase right about now, which I feel like a lot of us are. Not only with what we’re all experiencing, but also because it’s so near the end of the school year. I know you probably don’t get out until like mid-June, I’m guessing.

Nic: Yeah, you’re right around the corner though, right?

Cassie: Yeah, we’re two weeks shy of getting out of here. Not that anybody’s counting the days. We’re all counting the days. But yeah. So despite having taught for as long as I have, I really do feel like this year I learned a lot, and I struggled tremendously. So that’s kind of where I am right now.

Nic: Yeah. No, but thank you for admitting that and just sharing that with the world, which you’re very good at that, being real and sharing your struggles and your successes. And I think that’s the most important thing, because yes, no matter how advanced you are, especially in this year, my goodness, it was hard.

Cassie: Yeah.

Nic: It was hard.

Cassie: Right. And not just for us, but for our kids and to watch them struggle with all that they’ve had to go through, and not be able to have answers for them, and not be able to, quote, bring things back to normal for them has been a roller coaster. So yeah.

Nic: Yeah. Truly. Truly. And I think, I don’t know, just from watching some of your recent celebrations, maybe you had a lot on your plate again. Just saying. Let’s get right into that. You have recently published a book, and I want to talk about that. Can you please give us a description of what that book is all about?

Cassie: Sure. Well, I’m going to backtrack. My grandmother always told me that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. And I feel like at the family reunion, when you’re piling more and more on your plate, she’d just look at me and shake her head. I feel like that’s kind of what I do now. And I’m not saying that… If you have a big piled plate of food, you just make a mess of it. That’s pretty much where I am with life at all times. I mean, things are constantly falling off my plate, and I’m trying and struggling to add more things to it, because as artists and art teachers we have so many interests, we have so many things we want to do and try and explore. And I feel like the times when I’ve tried to talk myself out of it, where I’m like, “You don’t have time to do that,” and et cetera, which I don’t, none of us do, but sometimes you just got to plug your nose and dive in. And so that’s what a lot of these projects are, where I’m just like, “You know what? It’s now or never. I want to do this. I’m going to go for it.”

So I started working on my… This will be my third book. And the other two books I worked with a publisher. When you work with the publisher, you have these things called deadlines. And it turns out that they get really kind of upset when you don’t meet those deadlines, which I didn’t do quite often. But when you are writing for yourself, you don’t necessarily have those deadlines, unless you self-impose. And I’m the worst boss, because I’m just like, “Yeah, go watch another Netflix episode. It’s fine.”

So this book was two years in the making, much longer than the other ones. And it is everything that I wish I would’ve known as a beginning teacher, everything that I wish I knew just even yesterday. Just everything that I could pack into a book mostly about classroom management. It is a lot about that. Because, I mean, as a teacher, if you don’t have your classroom management down, it doesn’t matter what kind of lesson, how long you spend on your lesson and your visuals, any of that stuff, doesn’t matter, if you can’t actually teach it. And you can’t teach it unless you’ve got your classroom management, so there’s a lot about that.

And one thing I’ve learned about classroom management over the years is everybody is totally different. And everybody approaches how they teach in a different way, which is a beautiful thing. So I’m not trying to tell anybody, “This is how I do it. It works for me, so you should do it this way too.” I’m just sharing, this is what works for me. Now you need to dig in and figure out what kind of teacher you want to be. Why is it that you want to be an art teacher? And how can your why reflect your approach to classroom management, your rules and those kinds of things? So, while I do share a lot of my tips and tricks, which are very basic. I’m a simpleton, so I keep it very simple in my room. I also want people to feel empowered to approach teaching as how they see themselves as a teacher, as an art teacher. So that’s essentially what the book is about.

Nic: Oh my gosh. But I think you’re right. Classroom management is number one. I recently had a student teacher in my space, and that’s the number one struggle. And the number one thing that I hear from multiple teachers, no matter how advanced they are, the management is number one. So I’m glad that you really focused on that. And then also acknowledge the fact that these are sparks of ideas, and allowing the reader to take it wherever they want or need to go, so that’s really important in a book.

Cassie: And I think every teacher, I know you do this all the time, we constantly try new things. That’s what keeps it exciting and interesting for us. You’re constantly looking for something that will spark an interest in you and your students. And so I think that as new teachers, or as just veteran teachers like us, you should try all the things. And throw everything at the wall that you can. See something cool that you want to try, you want to do art jobs, go for it. You want to try games, stickers, rewards, whatever, give it a shot. Throw it at the wall, if it sticks with you, if it really resonates with you and your students, then I say, go for it. Me, I lack consistency when it comes to having jobs or stickers and all those things. I have 30-minute art classes. I can barely get them in the door and then out the door in a timely fashion. So I know myself, and I know that I can not stick with that stuff. But I say everybody should try it or try something that might work.

Nic: And have you tried those? Have you tried those methods?

Cassie: I’ve tried jobs before. It’s almost like putting your foot in a shoe that doesn’t fit. You know what I mean? It’s like, “Ah, this just doesn’t feel like…” How about I just tell them, “Hey, you’re finished early. Can you go take care of this? So and so, go take care of this.” That for me is way easier than, “Oh, number one’s not here to…” That’s how it always goes. “Red number one?” “Red number one’s not here today.” “Okay. Read number two?” “Read number two did it yesterday.” And then next thing you know, you’re spending all this time unraveling this Rubik’s cube that you’ve set up. Just make it super easy. And then when it’s easy and enjoyable and it flows, and it’s like a machine that kind of operates on its own, that’s when it’s a beautiful thing.

Nic: Right. Now, the other two books that you have written it was for students, it was student-based. I mean, it was project-based and for kids.

Cassie: Correct. Yes.

Nic: And this one is a love letter to teachers.

Cassie: Yeah, essentially. Yep. Yes. There is one little area in the book. Not a little area. There’s a pretty big chapter all about teaching kindergarten, because I feel like kindergarten can make or break.

Nic: Yeah, it can.

Cassie: Especially at the beginning of the year, I think they break us all. But I feel as though teachers really struggle. As a new teacher, I know I did. And daily I do with kindergarten, and figuring out what works for them. So I did spend a lot of time talking about the kindergarten beast, as I call them. And then that is the only part in the book where I actually walk through a project. And I take them through the project that I do on the very first day with kindergarten, because it’s always successful and they love it. And it’s easy to teach once you get the hang of it. So that’s the only project in this book. It is definitely not a project-based book like the other two books I’ve written. So it is much more like you said, I love that, a love letter to our teachers. Yeah, for sure.

Nic: Yep. Oh, that’s wonderful. I can’t wait to check it out. As I mentioned, the student teacher that I have, that’s going to be a gift. I understand that she just received a job, and so that’s going to be number one to hand off to her, just some advice from a more experienced teacher.

Cassie: I’m sure she loved working with you. I listened to some podcasts about your experience working with her, and her calling the kids students a lot. And I mean, I love that episode. So yeah, I think she was very fortunate to be able to work with you, so lucky her. She’ll take a lot of those things back to her teaching world.

Nic: Yeah. I hope so. We had a really good time. Absolutely.

Cassie: I bet.

Nic: So just a little bit, can we talk about your publication too? You talked about working under a publisher. And now this was self-published. What’s the difference, and what was better for you?

Cassie: Well, I can’t really say which one was better. I mean, one required… They both required a whole lot of work. For the two children’s books, the first two books, I took the photos as well. So I was in charge of the photos and the writing. And it’s kind of tough to make sure you have photos that really explain everything, because it’s for a kid. And then you have to speak in a tone that a child can understand, making sure your photos align with that, so that was tricky. But once I was done with the writing and the photography, I would send it over to somebody who laid it out. Then when they were finished, they sent it over to somebody who printed it. And then the one that was done, they shipped them over, and then they took care of all of the shipping out. So when I was finished, then the job was off my plate and I passed it on to them.

When you are publishing your own book, it’s a circle. You just keep passing the job back to yourself. So once I was finished with the writing part, I had a fellow art teacher who did all the editing. Or not editing. She did all the layout, the book layout. So Christy took care of all of that for me. And then I worked with the same editor that I used for my other books. I kept in contact with her. So she just went through and checked my grammar. I’m sure there’s typos and spelling errors throughout, but we did our best. I’ve read it 3,000 times, if I haven’t got it yet, I guess I must have missed it.

And then when that was finished, it was on me to find a printer. So it’s been printed here locally in Nashville. We’re actually a pretty big printing town, which I didn’t know. So once it was printed, it was just recently delivered on five pallets in my garage. So now all the books are sitting in my garage, and now my dining room has become shipping central. So I’ve had to learn to find a website where I can sell the book. And I had to learn with my friend, David, who you know-

Nic: Yep, David. Uh-huh (affirmative).

Cassie: He’s my right-hand guy. He’s helped me figure out how to print shipping labels and work on postage. And now we are just bagging and tagging all day long. So that’s going to be what I do for the rest of the weekend, is just try to get it as many orders out as possible. Then either I can schedule a pickup for the post, or I can take it to the post office.

So that is definitely more laborious for me, but I almost feel like it’s more rewarding, because everything in this book, I didn’t have to ask anybody, “Is this okay? Do you think people will like this?” I mean, hopefully they will, but this is a book that I know my audience. And when you work with a publisher who might not understand what you’re going for, might not understand that, yeah, there is an audience for this. I actually, a while ago, tried to get a book published about needle felting and needle felting projects. And when I was talking to the publisher, they said, “We just don’t think there’s enough of an audience for this,” and that’s fine. And now, I know that if I do want to do it, I know that there is an audience for it, and I can go ahead and pursue that route on my own.

I’m hoping that it gets easier as I go along, and I’m better able to handle all of this. I’m just trying to think of it, because I can get stressed out pretty easily. I just have to keep everything in perspective. Got to eat an elephant one bite at a time, Cassie. It’ll be okay. So that’s how I’m approaching this big task.

Nic: Well, and it sounds like you’re relying on experts in your life as well. So bringing in some people to help, and when you become more aware of what you need, you’ll find those people to help out with those areas that you can’t handle anymore, or want to pass off, I would assume. Yeah. Oh my gosh. I’m picturing this. And I did a little thing for a while of selling earrings. And that part was the part that I just… It was too much for me. So I’m really proud of you for taking it on and trying it. That’s awesome.

Cassie: I’m kind of crazy.

Nic: Yeah. Well, that’s okay. That’s all right.

Cassie: I mean, my hands are sweating, because I’m just sitting here thinking about it.

Nic: Let’s get this done. I have some stuff to package. Okay.

Cassie: No, it’s fine. It’s fine. That’s what I keep telling myself. It’s like the little meme. I relate so well with that little meme of the little puppy dog with the fire, that’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And he’s just like, “It’s fine. It’s fine. Everything’s fine.” That’s pretty much it.

Nic: Yeah. That’s the theme of the year. Everything’s fine.

Cassie: Yes, exactly.

Nic: Cassie, actually, why I approached you on this interview was because of your new art cart that you’re developing, or you have developed over the last year. It was so timely with a recent episode that we did, actually two, of teaching on a cart. So I wanted to bring you on when I saw that, because I was like, “Oh my gosh. If any of the teachers that are teaching on a cart right now could get their hands on this, it would have made the previous year just that much better, for sure.”

Cassie: Yeah.

Nic: Let’s talk about that process and the actual cart itself.

Cassie: Yeah. Well, the process was I went into school last spring to grab some supplies, because I was doing live art lessons every day and I was running out of supplies. So I ran into school one day to grab some. This was during the shutdown. And when I went into school, my principal stopped me in the hallway and just casually said, “Hey, just so you know, you might be on a cart next year.” And it was like, who drops a bomb like that on somebody just so like, “Hey, peace out. Talk to you later.” I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, we need to talk about this.” So I of course was a little freaked out. I tried not to spazz out too much. But I mean, I love my room. It’s a big, beautiful masterpiece. I love teaching in there. So I got really concerned, and I immediately went home and started looking up carts.

I thought, “I’m not going to not going to go into this blind. I’m going to make sure that I come prepared. If I have to teach on a cart, I want to have a cart to work with and from.” And so I started looking, and there’s a lot of carts out there. There’s tons and tons to choose from, but I just felt like each one was really lacking. Where am I going to put this? How can I teach this way? What am I going to do? And I have been working with Prang quite a bit over the last year. We worked together on social media promotions, and we’re currently working on product development, things like that. And they are a art supplier, right? They make art supplies. They do not make furniture. So I knew it was just way out there for me to say, but I reached out to Cathy, one of my buddies who works there, and I said, “Look, I might be on a cart next year, and there’s nothing out there. What would you guys think about developing a cart?”

And she loved the idea, because she understood the need. I think she could probably hear it in my voice, that I really wanted something to teach from, that would benefit me as an educator and my students. So she got the approval from Prang, so we set to work. So it was a lot of sketching and drawing, and me dreaming up things. And we paired up with a place called Spectrum Industries, and I believe they’re out of Wisconsin. So it’s made in the USA, which is awesome. And we have been working with them probably for about four months straight. Every week having a Zoom call, going back and forth with sketches, looking at their CAD drawings and comparing them with my little ratty looking sketches on pieces of paper.

And I had a lot of things that I wanted this cart to have. I wanted it to have a pop-up table. I wanted it to have a dry erase board that came up and was able to go down. I love pegboard. I know you loved pegboard.

Nic: I love pegboard.

Cassie: So I wanted it to be covered in pegboard, wrapped in pegboard. And Spectrum was able to make that happen, and make all those ideas that I wanted to come true. And they even had the idea, which I thought was genius, to have a mount for your device. So not only is it a place for you to use your document cam and demo from the cart, and we call it a mobile classroom, because it’s beyond a cart at this point, it’s a classroom on wheels, and they were able to make a stand for the device. So you could technically use it as a recording studio, or you could use it to teach from. It’s got a locker and swivel, castor wheels that all lock, I mean shelves that hold 50 pounds each. It’s like a steel masterpiece. I mean, this thing is going to hold a lot of stuff. So like I said, it’s everything I could think of.

Nic: But it moves with ease, right?

Cassie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. All the wheels are 360 castors. They’re the best wheels that you can get. I’ve learned so much about wheels.

Nic: Good. Who doesn’t need that knowledge? Yes.

Cassie: Right. And each one locks, because we don’t want anybody’s cart rolling away. Yeah. So everything that we could think of, that I could think of, has gone into that cart, so I’m really excited about it. And hopefully, it will help a lot of people out there who find themselves in that situation.

Nic: I watched your video, you and David did a video, and I watched that two times, all the way through with my mouth open. I brought my husband Tim over the second time and I’m like, “Look,” and I said, “the pegboard it’s metal. That’s amazing.” I love it. It’s fun to hear about the dream works of it, and the development between you and the producers as well. Wow. Very cool.

Cassie: Yeah, I’m hoping is… I mean, I have a cart. I have this cart now. And I think that even if you find yourself that you’re displaced from your room, and then eventually you find yourself back in your room, this cart, I feel like you could still use. I use it in my room. If you’re set up for TAB, it could a place for centers. I’m I thinking about when I start taking kids outside to do more artwork outside, I can easily just have that be my classroom outside. So even if you don’t end up using it indefinitely, it still would be a helpful tool, I feel like in your art room, I hope.

Nic: Yeah. And I liked that you mentioned that it’s a mobile classroom, because it is perfect for any art teacher. However, I think it’s perfect for a lot of teachers. I know that a lot of our special ed, our speech and whatnot, they’re traveling from class to class as well. And I could see them really benefiting from something like this, that can be even in a space and then moved away. It can be placed into a place kind of permanently, but then also tucked away in a closet if needed.

Cassie: Right. And that was our thought process too. I didn’t want to put too much of my fingerprint on the cart. I mean, as much as I want it to look like a rainbow unicorn on wheels, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. And we also just wanted to make sure that, like you said, anybody who needed a mobile classroom could use this as their means to teach from. So yeah.

Nic: That’s amazing. Cassie, so if someone’s interested in looking at this cart or finding it, where do we go?

Cassie: Okay. So if you want to find out more about the cart, you can go to my Instagram. It’s the first link in my Instagram profile. It’s cassiestephens.prang.com. They’re going to have some sticker shock. The cart is expensive, but it is a mobile classroom. It’s not a cart, and there’s so much in this thing. But I want to encourage people of this, don’t be afraid to ask for things. And I think as art teachers, we’re so resourceful, we’re so scrappy, we’ll just think, “Well, we can do this. We can make this work. We don’t have to ask.” You know what? You deserve the very best to teach with and to teach from. And if you’re displaced from your classroom, then you deserve this as your classroom, as your mobile classroom.

And right now, schools actually have quite a bit of funding. I know we were recently told at a faculty meeting that due to COVID, there’s been a lot of relief funding for that. We were asked straight up at our faculty meeting, “If there’s anything you guys want, now’s the time to ask.” And I don’t know if people are aware of that. And I know from teaching for a long time that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Most of us it’s so outside of our character to be that way, but when you really need something, when you really feel like you’re deserving of it and your students are deserving of it, don’t be afraid to squeak about it. Don’t be afraid to ask, especially if the resources are there. I mean, if you’ve never asked for a big ticket item before, then I would make that aware also, that, “This is something that I desperately need. I don’t often ask. It will not only benefit me, but the student’s education as well.” So they can find it again at cassiestephens.prang.com, or the first link in my bio on Instagram.

Nic: Sure, sure. That’s great. Yeah. Great advice, absolutely. So other than that, you’re just teaching and getting ready for school to wrap.

Cassie: Wrap it up.

Nic: Anything else happening in your life right?

Cassie: Well, Prang and I, we have another announcement that will probably come more at the end of the month, but I’m just going to go ahead and spoiler alert it right here.

Nic: Oh my gosh.

Cassie: We have been working together to come up with sketchbooks. So I have designed a sketchbook for kids, and this will be for art teachers to have in their rooms. And every child ideally would have their own sketchbook, obviously. This sketchbook, it has eight added in pages. Four pages are all about the elements of art, and they are interactive pages, meaning that the kids can color them in, they can draw a variety of lines. It’s educational pages in the book, on the front-end of the book. So all of the elements of art are covered.

These sketchbooks are built for kindergarten through fifth-grade kids, and it has a beautiful cover, so that the kids can draw their self-portrait on the front. And the back of the sketchbook has four double-sided idea sheets in it. So it has a lot of drawing idea sheets. How to draw people, how to draw faces, how to draw buildings, how to draw landscape. So it’s a sketchbook that kids can work with as early finishers, it’s one that teachers can use to teach from. In between those ideas sheet pages, the book is filled with Pacon’s mixed media paper, that paper that I love. Pacon’s mixed media paper, which is the best. So it’s got great paper in it. I know your students when they do sketches, a lot of times they’re painting in their sketchbooks, they’re not just drawing. So I wanted something that could really hold the weight of drawings and different things like that. So it’s a great thickness of paper, and a lot of tooth to it, so they can work in that sketchbook.

To go along with the sketchbook, David and I are working together to create videos. So we have created probably about two to three minute long videos, that will walk the students through the elements of art. So there’s a whole video on line, there’s a whole video on shape. And there’s a place for the kids to go and independently watch those videos, either before or after they sketch in the book, or the teacher can show the videos as well. So we’re really excited about those videos. David just made them so fun. They are-

Nic: I’m excited about all of it. So the videos are going to be… You could play it and it’s using the tool, it’s using the sketchbook as well, for an example?

Cassie: Correct, yes.

Nic: Wow. What a gift. What a gift.

Cassie: Yeah, so if the kids are like learning about line that day, they can watch the line video, they can do the little line component in the sketchbook. And then when they’re finished, they could sketch, they could work on the front cover. As an art teacher, it’s those kinds of things that I wish that I had in my room. I’ve been adding little sheets to their sketchbooks all along. And now this time I have a sketchbook that’s actually built into the kids’ sketchbook.

Nic: And how many pages is in the sketchbook? Do you know?

Cassie: Oh, geez. Offhand, I know that there’s the front and back. I can’t recall offhand, so I’m going to say perhaps 20. So I apologize if that is incorrect.

Nic: No, no, that’s perfect. So you’re envisioning this might be for a year, you would use that for a year?

Cassie: Yes, this is a year-long sketchbook. Yes. That’s the goal. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, that’s what we’ve been working on. Really excited about that.

Nic: I’m really excited about that.

Cassie: I’m just excited that they see the need for those kinds of things. So when I approached them with an idea, they’re like, “Okay, let’s do it.” And they are going to be sold, I believe, in cases of 12. So you can buy them as you need for class. So yeah.

Nic: Sure. What a great company to really work with an art teacher, and make all these things happen. I’m so happy for you and happy for us. Because when I think about that, we spend all sorts of time, probably with every sketchbook page, I’m having students set up like, “This is where this is going to go, and we’re going to put some information here. Draw a line here. Draw a line here.” And to just have those basics of line and shape and color already there and set up, and have a video on top. Oh my gosh, what a gift.

Cassie: And we’re very excited. Yeah.

Nic: I’m excited.

Cassie: Yeah. And I’m excited to get back into the classroom in August, and be able to share those with my kids and have them kick off the school year with those. Because I’m, like I said, ready for us to say goodbye to this year, so we can start fresh. And hopefully, that’ll be a good way to do it, with those sketchbooks.

Nic: That sounds like a great way to start fresh. Absolutely. And I think this is the time… I don’t know. I order my sketchbooks at the end of the year for the following year, so it’s really fun to hear that there’s going to be a new option out there. That’s really nice.

Cassie: Yes. And these will be available very, very soon. So if you’re somebody who’s getting ready to do your order and you’re getting ready to buy sketchbooks-

Nic: Just hold on.

Cassie: … maybe pause for a minute. And I believe these are going to be sold on Amazon. So if you’re a person who does place your… As well as the art supply catalogs. Yeah. So that way you can find them pretty easily.

Nic: Okay. Okay. Wow. Okay.

Cassie: Spoiler alert. There you go.

Nic: My goodness, there it was. And a new book, a new cart/mobile classroom. Sorry. And this amazing gift that people can move forward on in their classroom. Cassie, you got a lot going on.

Cassie: Yeah.

Nic: Do you have a vacation planned or anything for this summer?

Cassie: I don’t know. We usually head down to Florida because we love to do the theme parks, but I don’t know. It’s really, really hot out down there in the summertime.

Nic: Yeah. Yeah. It is really hot.

Cassie: I’m just ready to relax, but you know how that goes. When we say we’re going to relax, it usually doesn’t last long before, okay, onto the next thing. You’re just like that, so I know that.

Nic: Yeah, I can appreciate that. Well, in those regards, thank you for taking the time to chat with us today and just visit Everyday Art Room again.

Cassie: Yeah. It was great to be here. Thank you so much for asking me to come on. I appreciate it.

Nic: A lot of us have struggled this year, just trying to survive teaching in a new environment, teaching in a new way, teaching with masks, teaching online, teaching, possibly on a cart. It was wonderful and forgiving to hear Cassie speak to us, and even probably the most known art teacher in the United States said she struggled and had a hard time. But in amongst all this struggling, as Cassie does, she looked for ways to help her peers, to help us do better. So she wrote a book, which was two years in the making. But this book is guidelines for what works well in her classroom, dedicated to the art teachers that will read it.

Then, she created a cart, a mobile classroom that allowed her to be more successful when, or if she’s placed on a cart. And then went one step farther, and worked with a producer who made this a reality. I love this cart. I cannot tell you how much I love that cart. And then the announcement, the very exciting announcement of these mini sketchbooks that she is creating as well. I’m going to hold off and take a look at those before I order my sketchbooks in the fall. So thank you once again, Cassie Stephens, for joining us on Everyday Art Room. It was a pleasure to chat with you, and just wonderful, wonderful gifts that you’re giving to our community yet again. Thank you so much.

1 month ago
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