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Meet the Staff: Ismir Delija, Art Teacher

Ismir Delija, a man in his late thirties in a red and blue checkered shirt, in front of a dark background.

Today we are talking to Ismir Delia, one of Bloom's art teachers. In this interview, Mr. Delija talks about the importance of culture for society and shares one of his favorite moments from the past academic year.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am Ismir Delija. I am an art teacher here at Bloom where I teach students from the 1st grade of elementary school to the 4th grade of high school. In addition, I am also a photographer, graphic designer, painter, and all kinds of things...

How would you define your purpose here at Bloom? I would define my purpose as that of awakening a love of art in students and other employees. Not only love for craft techniques, drawing and painting; I have the slightly higher goal of trying to inspire in them a love for aesthetics and art. I think it is a more important goal than this secondary one: learning how to learn to draw an eye, a leg or an arm. We are not all trained and talented for certain artistic styles and techniques in the same way. We can't all be Leonardo da Vinci, nor can we all be Picasso. But we can all have some interest in art. That's more important to me. It is more important for me to arose an interest for art in them.

How is Bloom different from any environment or other schools you've worked in?

I have worked in public schools and various other types of schools. Bloom is different in that teachers and students here really have the freedom, in terms of both time and space, and more, to bring in their ideas and to develop in their own individual way. This is unfortunately not the case in public schools because they are limited by time and space.

After working as a teacher who holds 45 minute classes interrupted by the sound of the bell, I can say that such an approach is very, very limited. This not the fault of the teachers. Rather, it is the framework in which the education system has placed us that is to blame. This is not the case here at Bloom - I can adapt my teaching methods and framework to better serve each of the students. That is what is very valuable about this school.

What do you hope to teach your students?

I would really like them to learn to appreciate culture. Not only art, but culture in general. To appreciate more music, film, theater, and anything related to culture, because culture is a reflection of society and I think it is neglected. In my opinion, the most important role I have is to restore their faith in culture, because without culture, we are only beings who go through life without expressing emotions or reactions. I would like to bring their focus back to the importance culture.

What did your students teach you?

They've taught me patience. Which is a very, very important thing. Of course, we all have certain limits and moments when we don't have patience: when our day is too long; when disruptive challenges occur... But they taught me patience by teaching me to start recognizing what their limits are. I started to understand and accept when they really had enough - sometimes 20 minutes of concentrated work is the most a student can offer that day. I didn't accept that before. Rather, I was guided by my own time frames. I thought an hour was a little too short to do something concrete. Now, I try to be more aware of their needs and creative expressions. I'm more inclined to be patient.

Do you have a favorite moment from the past school year?

There were plenty of them. It often happens that within my subject I see a student totally open up in terms of creativity.

For example, we had a fashion show recently, and a student from P3 (grades 7-9) took initiative in preparing for it without any instruction from me. She independently found the materials, worked out the idea, collected all the tools she needed, and made a fantastic creation that she then presented at our fashion show. This made me very happy.

This is a good example of a student becoming independent in creating. When I see them in their own world, creating without any help or suggestion from me, that's when I'm happiest because: that's it, that's success. Those moments are the most beautiful.

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