TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Alanna Lawrence wants her students to trust the process – The Vicksburg Post
This article is part of a series from the Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for Teacher of the Year honors.
Alanna Lawrence, a media arts teacher at the Academy of Innovation, said she wants her students to trust the process when creating art.
Lawrence is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year Award. The Chamber will select and announce a Primary Teacher and a Secondary Teacher of the Year at the Chamber Luncheon on February 23. The winner of each prize will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up of each prize will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.
Lawrence began teaching in 2015 as an art teacher at Vicksburg High School. In 2016, Lawrence began teaching at Terry High School in Terry, Mississippi as a teacher of art, journalism, and digital media. As of 2019, Lawrence became a professor of media arts at the Academy of Innovation.
She earned an associate’s degree in general studies from Hinds Community College in 2010. In 2012, she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine art-graphic design from Delta State University. Currently, she is in the process of earning a Masters in Leadership Education at Mississippi College. From 2019, she started teaching at the Innovation Academy as a media arts teacher.
As a media art teacher, Lawrence asks his students to complete simple projects that require a significant investment of time. This allows his students to understand the process of artistic creation.
“It also shows that as long as students trust the process, they don’t have to be great artists to produce great work,” Lawerence said.
These projects also help students understand how media arts relate to other subjects, industries and careers, she said.
“It’s an essential part of my course to take a look at the world around us and not just observe, but critique and improve,” she said.
However, it is her relationship with her students that helps them understand the importance of media arts.
Lawrence said in his application, “I also find that students who know you care about them, and not just about their work, but about them as a person, will do whatever they can to make you proud.”