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Art with Mr. Johnson!

September 9, 2020 | Becca Brasser

Hello Parents! You may recognize my face from the Preschool Classrooms, but I am also the Visual Arts Teacher for Kindergarten through Third Grade. 

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, Dramatic Arts, and Elementary Education. I received my teaching certificate in 2004, spent some time traveling in Europe with sketchbook and paints in hand, and then nine years in Nova Scotia, working with adults with developmental differences. During this time, I was reminded how much the arts can unlock the mind of someone who feels alone and bind together people who feel disconnected. Art is a wonderful way in which we can all learn that we belong to God and to a community.

It is natural for us to be passionate about exploring God’s creation, both around us and within us. The many visual arts are just some of the countless languages that children use to explore and express. In one way my job here is quite easy, as all children are artists. I simply have to help them not forget this fact, or lose that instinct to reflect God’s creation. God is The Creator, and I will often remind the students that we are not only His creatures or creations, but “little creators”. Mustard Seed is a place that understands and celebrates this!

Art is used throughout all curricula and by many teachers at Mustard Seed. At any grade level in Mustard Seed, we engage in art daily, often reflective of broader curricular themes, but in the my class, children will be educated deeply and broadly, across mulit mediums. We will sculpt with clay, create collage with paper, work with wire, wood, and found objects to create sculptures, and incorporate many other materials spontaneously as we become inspired. Using any of these media a child can explore an environment, a concept they are studying, or a feeling inside their heart. In my time as a Mustard Seed student, my love for art was fostered and developed in many directions by using a variety of media and incorporating visual arts into many areas of study. I am honored to be given the opportunity to pass this gift on to your children.

At home there are countless ways for you to encourage your child as an artist. A sketchbook or loose paper along with markers or crayons is a must-have for any family outing. We are close to so many museums of art, science, culture. There are hours to be spent exploring these halls, drawing and discussing what you see. Once a month or so, trade in screen time for adventure time and take a trip! Even on a long commute or in a doctor’s waiting room, what is inside a child’s head can always flow out onto the paper. Whatever educational program you may have on your iPad, clicking and swiping does far less to develop children’s fine motor skills, imagination, and knowledge of the world around them than drawing on paper.  A blank piece of paper necessitates that the child look around, or into his or her imagination, to explore and wonder. This is invaluable, not only as an artist, but as a learner and a thinker. Your child will love to draw along with you, especially if they learn they might be more comfortable with it than you are! Laugh and learn and make mistakes together.  

I see the opportunity to work with your child as a privilege and joy. Each of them is a beloved child of God, beautifully and wonderfully made. Together we can create even more beauty.

Becca Brasser

Teacher, Grade 1

Becca Brasser has been teaching first grade at Mustard Seed School since 2002. She’s passionate about teaching children to read, write, experiment, and take risks as they explore the world around them. Her own studies (including a Master of Arts degree from New Jersey City University) have given her expertise and experience in the area of literacy education.

Ms. Brasser especially enjoys taking her students on field trips all over the New York Metropolitan area, traveling on foot, subway, bus, commuter train, and ferry. Some favorite trips: the Hudson Hike, the New York Transit Museum, and the Central Park Zoo to study penguins.

Although she lives in the city, Ms. Brasser loves escaping to nature and finding it in her everyday life as well. She loves to explore rivers and lakes, woods and mountains with her husband Matt, their daughter, Annika, and son, Theo.

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