New Art Teacher in the Making By Emma Ingrum

With the nationwide news of teacher shortages, it’s always exciting when Western students take an interest in the teaching environment. Chandler Mondragon is a college student at Western State Colorado University (WSCU), originally from the San Luis Valley of Southwest Colorado who has lived in Gunnison for about four years. Mondragon has come from a  background of agriculture, and is currently studying art with an emphasis in teaching.  The first step of her journey to becoming a teacher is gaining observation hours in a working classroom for a class called Education 340, where the students really dive into the world of teaching and how to become a successful teacher. Before she can take the step to become a student teacher, she must gain observation hours in an active, working, classroom setting. She is observing the Gunnison High School art classes taught by Erin Voukoun. “I’m excited to just get a look into the classroom and learn a lot about teaching in general, but also teaching in an art setting because that’s what I’d like to do,” said Mondragon when asked what she was excited about. “Something I am nervous about is teaching by myself, and part of my requirements with my own class, I have to give a lesson all by myself so I am a little nervous about that.” 

As a teacher one thing that Mondragon would like to work on is knowing how to deal with behavioral issues in the classroom. “I don’t think Mrs. Vokoun’s class has many behavioral issues, but it’s definitely something that I’m going to ask about just so when I am on my own, I know how to deal with a situation like that.” A goal that Mondragon has as an artist is to continue working on and finishing her senior art show at the college. After Mondragon officially graduates next may, her plans are to become a teacher in the public school system, while also making a lot of her own art on the side.