Dr. Cindy Todd, chair of the art education program at Kendall College of Art and Design, has been named Educator of the Year and Higher Ed. Educator of the Year by the Michigan Art Education Association
“How do you even react to something like that? It’s such a once in a lifetime opportunity to be recognized in that kind of way,” Todd said. “You kind of get that smile-big-and-start-giggling reaction.”
Todd, who’s been at KCAD for the past ten years, said that getting the job for chair of art education was “really sincerely a dream come true.
“I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher,” Todd said. “I can remember being in sixth grade and playing school in my basement. I’ve literary known that I’ve wanted to do this since elementary school. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to be and it is completely fulfilling and satisfying for me. There’s so much joy in getting someone to the point of understanding that it’s hard to describe.”
Todd said that the impact she has on her students is one of the best things about her occupation as an educator, “You can make such a difference in what happens in the next generation, one child at a time. You can have an enormous influence.”
“I think one of the most wonderful effects that my career has had on me is the enormous exposure to people, particularly to maturing individuals. You learn so much about people, and about the human dynamic. I find that to be really fascinating and enjoyable,” Todd said, on her career in art education.
The biggest piece of advice Todd has for students aspiring to be educators is to make sure you want to teach.
“I never talk anyone into being a teacher. You’ve got to want that and enjoy that, otherwise every single student you touch deals with your dissatisfaction, and I think that’s a terrible thing for everybody involved,” Todd said. “That’s the first thing I tell every single person in the program. If you can’t wake up every single day and say ‘I get to do this’ then you need to change your job. It’s got to be something that fulfils you, right straight to your heart.”
Dr. Todd received her awards Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Michigan Art Education Association conference, held in Lansing.