Faculty Spotlight: Mrs. Laura Thompson

Mrs. Thompson has been teaching art to all grades at Mason Prep for 28 years. She also offers after-school art for students in all grades.

I teach because…
it is my calling. I fought it for many years, but I have come to realize that teaching is what I was meant to do.

The one thing I want others to know about my class is…
that I teach art so that students will love it for a lifetime. I have a vast knowledge of art history and art techniques and strive to share it with my students of all ages.

My favorite lesson or unit to present is…
taking the third graders on a walking tour of Gadsden Street each year to learn about Charleston single houses and what characteristics makes them so unique to our culture and to architectural history.

The proudest moment of my career was…
when I received the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor given in the State of South Carolina, for my volunteerism after the publishing of my children's book, Joseph's Charleston Adventure. All of the proceeds were given to charity. Over $100,000.00 had been donated by 2010.

The craziest thing I have ever done in the classroom is…
This is hard to answer because I do what others may find crazy every day. I laugh at myself all the time, and the children come to know me as I am. After spending eight years at Mason Prep, the students know me, and I know them.

My favorite assessment strategy is…
To treat children fairly is not to treat them equally. Students need to be given what they individually need to succeed. We all have attention "tanks". Some are small — these are the quiet children who would rather not be praised publicly. Some have huge tanks. Others have tanks with holes in them — these children need lots of attention. Bad attention will fill the tanks just as well as good attention, so it important to know this so as not to feed the bad attention.

If I could teach a class of future teachers, I would include a lesson on…
I have had that pleasure for three years as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. As a teacher, you MUST get to know each of your students. You need to find out what they love, what makes them tick, and find a way to reach them. You need to make them feel they are special and that you truly care about them and their well-being. And you must learn to love each child no matter how hard that may be for some — they need your love the most.

In a nutshell, my philosophy of education is…
to endeavor to always seek knowledge and continue to learn more about everything. Research your passions!

Mason Preparatory School
56 Halsey Blvd Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 723-0664 (843) 723-1104