Diana Jensen

Diana Jensen

Art Teacher

Diana joined the Middle Way School in 2021-2022 to develop a new art program for the school. In addition to leading classes dedicated to art, Diana works with each Lead Teacher to integrate art across disciplines. Diana’s experience, skills, and interests intersect beautifully with the mission of MWS and we are thrilled to have her on faculty. She is also a parent to Oona, a Middle Way student.

What inspires me in my work as an artist and art educator is the joy of aligning hands, body and mind to sense, feel, discover, understand and express. I have taught art to children in schools for over 18 years, guided and inspired daily by the unique voices and expressions of my students. For the past 13 years, I have taught art to preschool and elementary school children at the Bank Street School for Children, where I have been immersed in a progressive school community committed to listening to, learning from, and supporting each child. 

While my formal training as an art educator began at Teachers College, Columbia University, where I received a Masters in Art Education and learned an approach to teaching art grounded in an understanding of artistic development and child-led inquiry, I have been making art my whole life. I majored in art at Smith College, focusing on painting and other two dimensional media. It was at Smith that I first studied Buddhism and had a taste of meditation. For years I attended annual Theravadin retreats as a way to connect with these powerful teachings. In 2014 I joined a Soto Zen community in Brooklyn, where I met my life partner. Our daughter Oona was born in 2016. 

Working at Middle Way feels like a special opportunity to bring together my passions for teaching and Buddhism. I’m thrilled to explore the intersection of art and dharma in and around nature. My daughter Oona will continue at Middle Way this year, and I’m honored to be a part of this special community, both as a teacher and parent.