So my final semester at Marywood has begun and I officially hold the title “Student Teacher.” It’s been really bizarre to be addressed as such and to actually be in the classroom fulfilling the job. Only a few short years ago I remember the student teachers I had; a strange face walking the halls, providing a new look on your normal curriculum in the classroom. Some I liked, some I did not, but to be in their shoes now has been a surreal new view on my past, present, and future careers in education. As a whole, with only carrying this title for a few short days, I absolutely love where I am, who I am working with, what I am bringing to the table, and what I still continue to learn.
Because I am an Art Education major, I will be certified to teach students K- 12, therefore, Marywood requires me to participate in two student teaching placements, each in a different grade level. My first is being done in a middle school (the same one I was assigned to last semester for my 5 week block placement). I loved it so much then that I had to return. The woman I am working with is a vision of who I would eventually like to be in my future career. She encourages the students, has fun with them, but also makes sure to bring things back to why we are all there in the first place…to create. I have seen too many teachers and students, elementary, high school, and college, lose track of why they are on the path they are on. Art becomes a chore, something that just isn’t worth the time. But this teacher reminds us all that it IS important and should be given each student’s time, energy, and love. That, for me, is huge, and I really have my career at Marywood to thank for getting me here to learn the things that I have.
Returning to this middle school, people welcomed me back, students remembered my name, and a sign I made for my co-op’s classroom still hangs proud. This experience has really solidified my decision to be an Art Educator, and being back has made me truly feel like a teacher. Students ask me for help, take my suggestions, and regard me just as they do my co-op. It is extremely surreal to be looked at as an adult and an artist. I am helping students with projects, drawing examples and showing them how to paint using a gradient, but they look at me as if I have just performed the impossible; very similar to how I looked at my former Art teachers. The realization has hit that I am finally there. I have honed in on my talents and abilities and am now able to share them with others, just as my teachers once did for me. All of this being said, I want to remind you all that nothing is too difficult if it is what you truly want to do. It comes up fast when it happens, and sometimes you don’t realize it until you take a silent step back to take it all in, but it’s happening and it is amazing.