Teacher Spotlight: Meighan Hooper

Sophie Drukman-Feldstein

Aug 1, 2021

Meighan Hooper is a visual arts teacher at the British School of Bahrain and a member of our Teacher Taskforce. She is the curriculum leader for her school’s visual arts department and also teaches French. In the past, she has taught world religion, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health, and Economic Education), and nursery. She grew up in Canada and has taught in China, Qatar, and Bahrain.

 

 

๐——๐—ผ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ?

 

Currently, no. There are not any standards that are required in the U.K. National Curriculum, but I would like to incorporate it moving forward. One of my roles at SubjectToClimate is that I’m going to be bringing in climate change resources for art teachers and building art lessons based on that. 

 

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜’๐˜€ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป?

 

I find that a lot of teachers bring in things like upcycling, making junk sculptures— and I don’t think that’s really useful. I prefer to teach about climate artists who are in activism. Artists who are painting giant murals and creating performance art and also leading projects. I think that is more interesting. I think that art is important in the climate change conversation because you get an emotional response from it, and that’s what motivates people to make a change.

 

Art about climate change can be incorporated into a curriculum, because when you go to write an art curriculum, the requirements are very vague. So there’s a lot of room to incorporate a unit or to write a unit. The problem is that a lot of art teachers don’t have that background. So that’s one of the things I’m working towards with StC, is just getting those resources out.

 

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ?

 

I really like Jill Pelto’s work. She incorporates graphs into her work, which I think are really interesting. And her work is really subtle, but then it’s also really, really powerful at the same time.

 

๐—ช๐—ต๐˜† ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜?

 

There is no Planet B. So if we don’t provide this education, we’re kind of just watching time pass by. Like, what are we doing? Do we really want to place that burden on our children, and on our great-grandchildren? How will they survive? As a young woman, sometimes I question, do I even want to have children to bring to this world, to have them deal with these things?

 

We have to teach about climate change. There’s no other alternative.

 

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป?

 

Well, first of all, it’s not written in any of the curriculum, and it’s not mandatory. It’s kind of a “nice to have” rather than a “needs to have.” It’s not a priority.

 

What are we prioritizing? Teaching them math skills when the world has calculators, teaching them how to spell when the world has spell check. What we teach and what they need in the real world— there’s such a disconnect, because curriculum is always so far behind.

 

๐—ข๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป. ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜’๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ต๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜€๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ-๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป?

 

It helps to start with something that they understand, like respecting animals. Kids are so motivated by animals. But they’re not taught about the realities of it— there are very few children who understand the realities of it. And if we were more realistic and stopped being so cutesy in early childhood education, I think that would definitely paint a clearer picture, and also give our children choice on what they want to put in their bodies and what they want to support.

 

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ?

 

I definitely think that what we’re doing at StC is going to help a lot, because teachers really don’t have time to digest more content than they’re already doing right now. Especially in today’s world, where we’re having blended learning, and some people are fully virtual, and some are remote, and then the next week they’re back to— it’s crazy, right now, being a teacher. It’s an insane job.

 

So I would say digging into some of our resources that have google docs, or slide presentations, or interactive maps— those types of things that you can share for your kids to do virtually. You can use breakout rooms. Using the resources that are there, and then making that work for whatever type of hybrid learning is going on.

 

๐—ช๐—ต๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ท๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ T๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ T๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ธ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ?

 

I just felt that coming onto this team would allow me to work with something that was going to be impactful, to help other teachers and to help other students. So, that’s one of the motivating factors for me to come onto it, is to find meaningful work.

 

๐—™๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ?

 

I grew up in Canada. We have a cottage that’s five hours North of Toronto. That’s my favorite place in the world. We have a dock, and we’re on the lake, but the cottage itself is on an island. I grew up there. I spent my summers there. I’m definitely missing it right now.

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