Students believe I have all the answers.
Parents trust me with their precious children.
As the teacher, the one with this weighty responsibility, I have an obligation. A responsibility. A duty to be all that I can be. (Did you just sing that in a jingle? I know I did.)
We often get stuck in a rut. (At least I do.) We are complacent in our place in life, our abilities, and our knowledge.
“I’ve been doing this awhile. I know what to do.”
“I have a degree in Art Education. I have the knowledge necessary.”
“I’ve been teaching or managing kids for over 10 years. I got this.”
“Pinterest people have tested it. That’s all I need.”
Do you ever catch yourself thinking this or something similar. Well, I plead the 5th…
I teach Art. I love teaching Art. I will admit here, for all the world to see, that I am more teacher than Artist. “What?” you may ask. Well I’ve said it before…
I love to watch people when they discover something new, or…
push themselves past what they have always done, out of their comfort zone, or…
realize they know why and how the Artist used the Elements of Art to create that effect or mood.
All those great discoveries and accomplishments that I can help my students achieve… Yeah, I love that. Taking the time to create something just for me. For no other purpose than to create. I like that too but I don’t LOVE it.
Now I’ll tell you a story.
Recently I was approached by an adult about a new class that was coming up. We got yakking and she asked me what kind of Art I do. I paused a beat. Not because I don’t do any Art but because I’m not an Artist who “does ceramics,” or “illustration,” or “pen and ink.”
I can and do all those (to varied ability) but I’m not confined to those. I dabble. I create. I experiment. I like to use a variety of mediums with my students so I create mostly in preparation for lessons.
So when faced with the question, I didn’t do well. I felt as though I tripped a bit. I responded that “I’m more teacher than Artist. I like to teach Art more than create it.” Probably not the best statement to instill confidence in my ability to teach…
However I have started to approach my personal development as an Artist, teacher, and business owner in a more purposeful way. I’m especially glad I’ve started doing that when faced with a question like that one from the potential student.
One thing I’m doing is I’ve started an Art journal that I add something to everyday. (Watch for upcoming posts where I will share my bumbling attempts to understand the world of Art Journaling.) Also when able, I enjoy taking a watercolor class at a local community center. I love this scheduled “me time” each week, enjoy getting together with like minded individuals, and staying a bit more connected with the “local Arts scene.” This, along with other adventures I’ll share, forces me to focus on my development as an Artist/creative person, which will in turn benefit my students.