Q&A with CAC’s Elementary & Secondary Art Teacher

Chelsea BaberCAC Spotlight on Chelsea Baber

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. I have two sisters (I’m the baby of the family). When I graduated high school I wanted to spread my wings and venture out, so I decided to go to Harding. I met my husband Corey on Valentines Day my sophomore year, and we got married in 2013. Corey is a social worker at Pathfinder, Inc. where he does school-based therapy.

What was your first exposure to CAC?

I heard about CAC a few different ways. We go to Levy Church of Christ, so we knew several people who taught here. My husband’s college roommate went to CAC, and I also subbed here for a semester in the spring of 2012.

You’re in a pretty a unique role where you get to visit and teach at all three CAC campuses. Tell us what that’s like.

I feel like it’s the best of both worlds. Each day, I go from teaching the little ones, who are just sponges that love to learn, to teaching high school students, who are really refining their skills and learning which areas of art they’re interested in. This is just my first year, but I look forward to being able to see these kids grow from when they first enter these doors to when they graduate.

Why do you think art is important in education?

It’s a great way for students to release their creative side and be able to express their ideas, feelings and emotions in a different way. Art lets students be able to see things from a different perspective. You can also incorporate math, science, writing —  just about any subject in art. When I look around, art is all around us. There is a quote I love that says, “Earth without ‘art’ is just ‘eh.”

Any particularly memorable moments from your first year of teaching?

There’s one very exciting moment that comes to mind. Coach Gates’s students used goldfish in a project one day and got to keep them afterward. When the students came to my class, I had them put the fish on a shelf, but all at once they started flopping out of their cups onto the floor. I had no idea what to do! We just started scurrying around scooping goldfish off the floor. I feel like it was a great bonding moment with the kids.

How do you think CAC is different from other schools?

I see our students act in a Christ-like manner, and I love the positive encouragement between the faculty and staff. It’s a warm environment to come into. We help each other through, and it really does feel like family.

Are you in any way related to Barrett Baber?

Hah! Can I lie and say yes? Sadly, no… at least not that we know of. I think I’ve had 12 teachers ask me that!

With the holidays upon us, tell us about one of your favorite Christmas traditions.

There’s one Corey and I started where a few days before Christmas we go to IHOP and then drink hot chocolate while driving around to look at lights. Afterward, we exchange gifts at home. It’s just our little family tradition!