Yes, I am a visual artist. I am also a mom & wife, and as of three years ago I also became an elementary school art teacher - and I LOVE IT!
Teaching art has always been something I thought to do with my career, and just a few years ago I decided to pursue it. The position at my kid's school happen to become available and it was like a light bulb when on above my head... I knew I had to have it! I had been working at a law firm for the past 13 years and although it was nice to work for my family, it was not my calling. I had been itching for a change for some years, but with two young kids I just didn't have the time to put myself first (all those momma's out there know what I am talking about). But then this job became available and I just knew I needed this. I needed it for me and for my kids. I wanted to show them that in order to make a change, no one can do it for you. You have to pursue it and so that's what I did.
I dusted off my resume and did some serious research on all things Art Teacherin' and after several interviews I landed it!
I got in that art room and my creative juices just started flowing and they haven't stopped! My first year, like any first year teacher, was definitely a learning curve and dealing with online learning due to Covid threw me for a loop. Once I got into my second year, I was ready and felt so much more prepared but then another loop was thrown out and that was to create art outside... on a cart.... Ok so if you know me at all, I am pretty easy going. I go with the flow and just move. So I took this idea and embraced it. I found a cart and painted it to make it resemble my colorful art room, I bought myself a hat and even bought a neck fan to stay cool under the sun lol. I was ready and optimistic... but then the reality of teaching outside hit - man was I a sweaty disaster. The fan hardly did enough, the constant bird pooping consistently ruined several works of my student's art and the wind was our absolute enemy! I soon realized, what the HECK did I get myself into? BUT I did it. WE did it. I knew that I had to embrace it, laugh at it and make it fun for my kiddos. We didn't get to work with clay and the paintings didn't come out amazing due to the bird poop and wind BUT we created and we had fun doing it. That was all that mattered.
Once the word was out that students would be back in the art room for the 2021/2022 school year I was head over heels! Yes, we had to make sure everyone sat socially distanced and masks were worn but man it felt good to be back inside! We could finally do collage work without papers flying away, we had running water and we got to work with clay!
So it goes without saying that these first few years of teaching have been very interesting, but besides all the craziness - what an opportunity it has been! To see kids come in my classroom, scared to touch clay and then realize that with some love and encouragement, it ends up being their most favorite art medium, or assuring a kindergartener that the "oops" that was created on their painting can end up turning into an amazing piece of art, has been extremely gratifying. I have been so moved and inspired by these kids and am beyond proud to be their teacher. Teaching them the element's of design, color theory and art history is awesome but it's even cooler to see their faces light up once they discover that they have an artistic ability, and they all do! Even the one's that say "I cant do that" actually end up doing it! Each and every work of art these kids create is amazing. It is my goal as a teacher to not only teach them how to be creative, but to think positive, stay positive and believe in themselves, and I would like to believe that I am doing just that. We all need this encouragement and I am proud to be able to say that I am helping these kiddos find their potential, with one paint brush at a time....