Being a student teacher while also being an artist, there is so much to love; so much to be happy about. Lately I have felt completely immersed in Art, in imagination, and in general happiness. I have just started my second student teaching placement (half way done! Ahhh!) and it is absolutely amazing. I am now in an elementary school, focusing on grades K-6. It is complete chaos and I couldn’t love it more. The teacher I am working with has about 24 separate classes that she sees once a week for a half an hour. When I was first given the schedule I was about to ask if she was joking. Her job is no joke. But once I got to observe and see how she operates in each class, it became clear that what she is doing in the limited time given is amazing and inspiring. Each class has two separate lessons, so that there is some more variety throughout the grade levels. She puts together an art show at the end of the year, including work from each of her almost 800 students. She also connects 90% of her lessons to the work of famous artists…all in a half hour time slot.
You can see on her face how much she loves her job, no matter how chaotic and sometimes difficult it really is. I have to say, being there has made me feel like a new person. I absolutely love the minds of elementary students. They don’t hold back their ideas and they put their own twist on the projects you present. Before this process started, I would always say, with utter sincerity, that I wanted to be the art teacher that wears crazy clothes, dances around the room, and has pencils sticking out of her hair. Right now, I can see this is in my immediate future. Even being a student teacher I am already perpetually covered in glue and construction paper, making up stories with kindergartners, and running around the room with any number of supplies in my hands. I do not watch the clock all day, I don’t spend my days waiting for the weekend, and I don’t question my decision to be doing what I am doing. We always hear people say to choose a job that you don’t need a vacation from. Well… I found it, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. So if you are a high school student about to graduate, a current college student, or even fully employed, you can choose right here and now what that job will be for you. It is never too late to do what makes you happy.