In the Loop
Student Stories : Jul 9, 2015

Art education student benefits from being a teacher and student

By Chelsey Freeman

One day she may be waking up in a boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska, working the sockeye salmon run and another she may be heading a legacy murals project working with fifth graders in Holualoa, Hawaii. There is no such thing as a typical day for Lara Fahlander. She takes online graduate classes at UF through the School of Art + Art History’s Online Master of Arts in Art Education program, teaches in Hawaii and lives in Alaska.

She loves living in Alaska because of its pristine, untouched quality in its nature and culture. “It’s nice to know most everyone here chose to be here,” Fahlander said. “Due to extreme conditions, there is a wonderful spirit of community that I enjoy.”

Fahlander chose the Online Master of Arts in Art Education program at UF because of its progressiveness in terms of technology and new ideas in the field. She said she is very satisfied with the caliber of professors, the curriculum and the peer contributions.

“The program includes assignments that are flexible so I can utilize the learning not just in class but to help me develop as a professional in my personal job circumstances,” Fahlander said.

She said she benefits greatly from being a student and a teacher, and the two roles work cohesively together. “My graduate work helps breathe fresh life and insights into my teaching, just as my teaching experiences help me understand what changes are needed and how students connect to various concepts.”