Someone once said that artis an idea. It is not enough to draw, paint and sculpt. An artist should be able to think.
Laura Milas, WGN’s May Teacher of the Month, subscribes to that. An art teacher at Hinsdale Central High School, Milas has a talent for drawing out the inner artist in her students without stifling them.
Laura Milas, Teacher of the Month: “I think what I aspire to do as a teacher is to be a guide for each kid. I really want students to be focused on their work and what their passion is in the arts. So I don’t want to impose my likes or dislikes on them.”
Gabrielle Rutkauskas, nominating student: “I kinda like how Ms. Milas is …”
Gabrielle Rutkauskas, a graduating senior, nominated Milas for the teacher of the month honor. And she says with good reason.
Gabrielle Rutkauskas: “She lets us do our own thing until we reach out and need help from her. Then she is happy to step in and give us direction.”
Laura Milas, Teacher: “I think part of making art is frustrating, so I share that with them. I think every day is a battle, but perseverance is something I grade them on. So we work through the frustration. Okay, so it didn’t go well today .What are we going to do tomorrow? What could we try that we are not trying?”
All questions not lost on her students. Questions that send them back to the drawing board.
Lucy Wang, Student: “As a senior, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do in the future and where I want to take my art. I have always felt that I had talent in the arts and because of that I should do something in the arts, and I think Ms. Milas just showed me this year that it is not so much about talent — it is about motivation and I think that is something I am going to take away with me no matter what I do.”
Nick Leahy, student: “I do fashion design. This was my first year and I really didn’t know what to do because I was her first student to do it. But she has been amazing with it and created my very first collection with her and I have won contests and all sorts of things. She has been amazing.”
Milas: “I think this is a journey that we take together and I hope to guide them and get them to do beyond what they think they can do.”