At ARTifact, Lauren Sharp wears many hats: founder, entrepreneur, curriculum planner, teacher. Her favorite hat, though, is a piece of pink felt her students put on her head during rug time. It’s called the ‘thinking cap’ and it means it’s time for learning.

(Photo Courtesy of Lauren Sharp)

(Photo Courtesy of Lauren Sharp)

What is background and education?

“Before I opened ARTifact, I was at USF, taking classes in education and working as a tutor, teacher, and nanny. After graduating, I took a job teaching at a startup preschool where kids would practice art and yoga in addition to the standard curriculum.  While there, I gained entrepreneurial experience in tandem with classroom hours. This experience really pushed me to experiment with various ways to learn and teach. In 2010, I opened ARTifact with a roster of eight students and an avant-garde art-based curriculum. Five years later, ARTifact is a supplementary educational program where 180+ kids age 2.5-12 come to think critically, creatively and outside the box. Everyday I spend learning with kids at ARTifact is the very best day. They are our future and our future is bright because of them.”

What is your outlook on the education industry in San Francisco for jobs?

“San Francisco is a city known for its active thinkers. It is also a city that thrives on innovation and new models for doing things. Supplementary education programs like ARTifact allow for the sharing of more specialized knowledge and act as incubators for new models of teaching and learning. Add in the addition of technology to a learning platform and the end result is: education has never been more active, widespread, or a job in education more exciting. Especially in San Francisco, where innovation, creative thinking and technology are everywhere.”

 What career advice can you offer to students interested in a career in education?

“There are many ways to have a career in education. The term isn’t limited to being a teacher or to even working in a classroom. There are educational careers in research and development, for example. And teachers who work in hospitals, in private homes and even with children on movie sets. Love learning and choose a career in education that continues to foster your love for learning and the education part will take care of itself.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.

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