It's been a long time coming, but I'm finally about to embark on my first day of school. This time, not as a student, though, but a teacher. And not just any kind of teacher... THE ART TEACHER. Ever since I was a little lady, I've marveled at my art teachers- fascinated by them. Fascinated by the fact that they got paid to hang out with me and make stuff. Even now, I look around at my room, which is awaiting the arrival of children on Thursday, and think "I get paid to make art with kids??!"
My last few semesters of college were the most challenging thing I've ever encountered. A heavy, and I mean HEAVY, workload was complicated by the expectations of student teaching, planning a wedding, purchasing a home, and dealing with the expected transition from college to adulthood. I heard many times that this would "All be worth it when you have your own classroom." At times I even felt discouraged wondering if I'd even get a job, or worse, if I even wanted to be a teacher and if I could be a good one.
Luckily, though, my God was so good to me. I had gone through some rough interviews before stumbling upon an elementary opening in what I believe to be the best district in the area with my principal from elementary school. Just two days after my interview, I received an email saying "Welcome to Voy Spears!" In an instant, it really did become "all worth it." As someone who ran on the fumes of anxiety for four years, I've never felt more relaxed and excited about life. Every night I ramble on and on to my husband about the ideas running through my head or the cool projects I found on Pinterest or the awesome conversation I had with another teacher.
I am so inspired and encouraged by my coworkers in my building, in our district, and those I graduated with that are in their own district. There is a contagious passion for education and knowledge. My desire is that I would be that art teacher we all marveled at as kids. I teach art because it challenges me and my kids to use a completely different side of the brain, while building essential problem-solving skills. I remember when it clicked with me that we see an ellipse on the top of a glass, not a circle. That absolutely changed the way my eyes work. When every fifth grader leaves my room in May each year- I want them to have had that moment where they "see an ellipse."
I can't wait to meet all my new little friends on Thursday and start questioning them and prompting opportunities for them to think like artists and really shine. I'm sure there is a time and place to draw snowmen in January and pumpkins in October (I'm sure I'll do this too :)), but if my coworkers down the hall are challenging these kids to think like readers, writers, mathematicians, historians, and scientists... they will think like artists during their window of time with me.
So pray for me this week. Pray for the little eyes, ears, and hearts that will enter my room. Pray that I have an excitement and passion this great in May :)
I'm beginning this blog as a way to reflect on my experiences and share them with my friends and family and as a resource for other teachers or people who want to be teachers. I have learned so much from blogs I have run across, and I believe collaboration is one of the most important pieces in education. I don't know it all, you don't know it all, and she doesn't know it all, but surely WE can know it all. "Beg, borrow, and steal" as Dr. Cuff always taught us.