Hannah Kassan received her BFA in Art and Design from California Polytechnic State University in 2014 and her MA in Elementary Education Instruction and Curriculum from San Jose State University in 2018. Her passion of the visual arts and love of working with children traces back to her own childhood. Building on that foundation, Hannah has gone on to continue her professional development in creating and teaching lessons that push her students to step outside of their comfort zones and push their creative thinking to the limits.
Hannah takes her passion of working with a wide range of materials, techniques, and styles to adapt her lessons to best suit the interests, needs, and experiences of her students. Over the last five years, Hannah has been working with both elementary and middle school children as a Judaica teacher, teaching students about Jewish culture, history, and religion through creative projects – such as puppet shows, stop motion animation, meditation drawing, collage, gardening, cooking, and more.
Hannah’s MA project focused on integrating the artistic process and giving/receiving peer feedback into the curriculum of a local (Campbell Union) third grade classroom. Hannah worked with her mentor teacher to expand on a Los Dichos lesson about Frida Kahlo, having the students create their own unique self-portraits through a process of peer feedback and editing. One hallmark of Hannah’s teaching style is her flexibility and willingness to let her students guide their own creative process – if a student can give a reason for their choices, that can be more important than how well it fits the original concept of the lesson. And yet, with that flexibility in mind, Hannah has a strict policy of never letting her students give up because she believes mistakes are critical to success.