Teacher Artifacts of Worth Exhibit

Arts & Culture

Pictured: photo courtesy of Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

Most people know that while it’s not always the case, the bond between teacher and student can be truly special. All it takes is one great teacher, one instructor that makes their pupil feel encouraged, supported and safe, to change a life. Former Sarasota County Schools Teacher of the Year Es Swihart knows this all too well. Swihart, who currently teaches English and is Head of the English Department at The Out-of-Door Academy, was finishing up her Doctorate in Education at Johns Hopkins University, with a specialty in Mind, Brain and Teaching, when she began to brainstorm about what her dissertation project would look like.

Swihart was doing some summer cleaning one day when it finally hit her. “I came across one of my boxes of letters and the pictures or whatever it is that students have given me over the years and realized that’s my legacy. When I pass on at some point that’s what I want my daughter to see. That’s really what I’ve done with my life, those connections, that’s where my impact has been,” says Swihart. Swihart also realized that every teacher has one of these boxes: a home for all of the different gifts from letters to drawings to photographs that teachers have received from their students over the years.

That sparked what will eventually become the Teacher Artifacts of Worth exhibit, a collaboration between the Education Foundation of Sarasota County and the Sarasota Art Museum. The exhibit, which will open in August, will feature artifacts given to current and former Sarasota County School District Teachers. Everything from photographs to drawings to letters and more will be on display at the Sarasota Art Museum for the entire community to see the positive impact that teachers have had on the lives of their students. Current and former Sarasota County School District teachers are encouraged to submit up to three artifacts to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County to be featured in the exhibit. “I hope the exhibit just uplifts the profession as a whole,” says Swihart. “ I think everybody has had a teacher so they know what education looks like but it’s very different when you’re in the classroom on the other side. The kind of job it is and the kind of energy that it takes is massive and unlike anything else. I really want to highlight after all that work what that impact looks like.”

Submission Window is open from May 10 to June 30, Education Foundation of Sarasota County, 1960 Landings Blvd #120, 941-927-0965.


Pictured: photo courtesy of Education Foundation of Sarasota County.

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