It’s day two of our 12 Acts of Kindness project here at Random Acts, and if there’s one group that deserves all the love in the world today, it’s teachers — specifically those who have sacrificed a chance at a higher paying field or those that spend hundreds of their own dollars every year so that their classrooms are beautiful and functional — teachers who make their chosen career into more than just a career, logging countless overtime hours to tutor, mentor, and counsel and support those students who need a voice of encouragement in their lives.
Curt Beaty is one such teacher. A talented artist and educator at a small private school in Indiana, Curt spends his days teaching Pre-K to 12th grade classes — adding up to around 500 students altogether. But despite the fact that Curt is the school’s sole art instructor, he has no classroom. Every day, he travels from room to room, carting all the supplies the students will need for each project, including their works in progress.
Random Acts Regional Events Officer Annie Houston teaches at the same academy. “Curt knows the name of every student ,” she says. “He greets them all individually in the halls. He coaches basketball, offers guidance, and is a friend and role model to all of our students. If you ask any child in our building who their favorite teacher is, they will likely tell you it’s him.”
A quiet and gentle man, Curt takes a genuine interest in students’ work, says Annie. “Both of my children have had him as a teacher,” she says. “I was flabbergasted at the quality of work they brought home, but I was more impressed by what they learned. He spends time teaching the students about balance, negative space, and contrasting colors, incorporating art history lessons and allowing the students to work in almost every possible medium… And he does all of this on a limited budget with no art room.”
Because of his status, Curt is not considered a “regular” homeroom teacher and is often overlooked during teacher appreciation weeks and holidays when many teachers receive thanks and gifts. So when it came time for our staffers here at Random Acts to nominate candidates for the 12 Acts of Kindness, Annie knew what to do.
After discussing his “classroom supply” needs, Annie decided to buy for Curt a beautiful new etching machine which was easily portable and would be perfect for student projects. Similar to a wood press, etching machines allow the user to carve out an design or create a plate, cover it with ink, and create posters or woodcut images. “Curt [told me] he had loved using etching machines in college and had always wanted to acquire one for his students, as it was fun, simple to use, and easily transported.” Using her Random Acts funding, she made her purchase and presented it to the kindhearted art instructor.
“Curt was elated,” she says. “He thanked me profusely and told me that it meant so much to get this gift…. And when I told him that the [machine] belonged to him alone, he was touched.”
Make sure to visit our blog regularly this month as we celebrate the 12 Acts of Kindness — a project which showcases the kind things our staffers get up to in their off-time. Want to follow our team’s lead and perform an act of kindness in your community? Check out how you can get involved and fill out an act proposal today to see if you qualify for financial assistance. We can’t wait to hear from you!