Best of Irmo Chapin Life 2018
Best NIche 2018

Ben Lippen School

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Mrs. Karen Atten

Teaches: Lower School Art and Technology
Mrs. Atten has been teaching at Ben Lippen for six years. Prior to her time at BL, she served as the operations manager for the CIU library. She has been married to Thomas for 33 years. They have two children: Leah (7th grade) and Mya (9th grade). In her free time, Mrs. Atten enjoys cooking and reading.

What are you passionate about? I am most passionate about my love for the Lord and I love teaching art.

What is your favorite thing about Ben Lippen? Being a teacher at BLS combines my two favorite things. I love the sense of community at Ben Lippen. I love that my colleagues all share the same passion. To see young lives transformed by the love of Christ, to see them express themselves through the arts is the highlight of my day. Many of my students are never going to kick the winning field gold or score the highest grade, but they love art. I get to be a part of that every single day and that is amazing! I love what I do!

Is there a difference in teaching art from a Christian perspective? I taught art for 15 years in New York in a public school and although the content of what I teach now is the same, the "how" and the "why" are very different. I tend to focus more now on the process of the project and not the end result. I love seeing how God has uniquely gifted each child to be creative, because HE is creative. Their approach to a project is very different. I get to celebrate God's uniqueness and how he has made things purposely. How HE is a God of design. When we study Origami, we watch time-lapsed video of a flower bursting from a bud, or a butterfly shedding its cocoon and unfolding those beautiful wings. That's origami in nature and that's by God's creation and that is super cool.

How do art and technology tie together in the classroom? I teach technology to our 3rd-5th graders and I love what the students are able to create with technology. I use the iPad's to enhance their art expression. Letting the students make stop-motion animation short movies this year has really opened their eyes to appreciate seeing a movie or something an artist has created. The process has been so rewarding for both them and myself. I love that Ben Lippen is providing opportunities in these areas for these children to encourage their creative minds, and the fact that I get to be a part of that is wonderful!