Jessica Chambers remembers sitting in her mom's classroom watching her teach 6th grade Language Arts. “Mom may as well have been putting on a Broadway production,” she remembers. “There were wardrobe changes and characters with different voices and accents. The children were laughing hysterically and completely enthralled. Here they were, 12 year-olds, completely captivated by diagramming sentences!”
Ms. Chambers learned something too, watching her mother teach. It wasn’t how to diagram sentences or to conjugate verbs; she learned that she, too, wanted to teach. And while she and her mom have very different styles of teaching, they do share one important trait: a great love for introducing young minds to the subject of their passion. For her, that passion is art.
Ms. Chambers is our art teacher, having earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fashion and Studio Art from Texas Christian University, and later going back for her degree in Education. She fell in love with the Academyas a parent. Her son, Luke, helped “seal the deal,” for her when one day he said: “Mommy, this is my school. This is where I was meant to be.” Needless to say that when the position of art teacher became available, it seemed as much fate as it did an opportunity.
“I realized very early in my teaching career how important it is to create a learning environment that enables the gifts and interests of each child to inspire the direction of their education. Fort Worth Academy focuses on the individual child,”she says, and “essentially decodes their learning style, accommodating for any learning differences, and emphasizing their strengths.Unlike schools that base a child's education entirely on a standardized test, the Academy’s philosophy is brought to life through a truly student-centered learning process.”
Ask Ms. Chambers about her all-time favorite lessons to teach, for any grade level, and she’ll tell you without hesitation that it’s the self-portrait. “There is such a tremendous sense of self-discovery in a self-portrait lesson,” she says. “When a student does one every year, they get to see the tremendous changes in themselves that each year brings.” And those changes are not just physical. “There are always some students who begin with no attachment whatsoever to art. I love to watch them learn how to harness that part of themselves and bring it out.”
Above all else, Ms. Chambers loves spending free time playing and snuggling with her children, Luke, Marlowe, and Hawkin. She also loves doing anything creative, reading (when she gets a chance), traveling and exploring with family. When the stars align and she is able, she also enjoys cooking (and eating) yummy food, and indulging in a good old fashioned trip to the movie theater.