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[teacherartexchange] my story


Date: Sun Jul 10 2005 - 08:29:36 PDT

As a kid I never ever thought about being an art teacher, although my mother
always thought I should be a teacher. At that time - back in the Dark Ages -
there seemed to be only two professions for women: nursing or teaching. I
didn't want either. We had no art teachers (small rural school in Texas) but I
did have a teacher in 7th grade (our coach) who included some art lessons - I
still have those - the only work I've kept from school. I'm not sure where
the dream to make art came from, unless it was because I was so bad at drawing
and always thought it would be neat to be able to draw. My aunt took some
lessons from a neighbor and thought I would enjoy doing the same. I already
had my son but managed to go on Saturday for 3 hours of drawing/painting
lessons. This lady had gone back to college at middle age so that dream took hold
in me. I was a secretary and pretty good at it. (I still haven't made as
much teaching as I did as a secretary, but that's another story...)
When my children were in their teens I managed to go to college at Montana
State University in Bozeman. This had always been a dream of mine, although I
never considered art. I'm not sure I even thought there was such a thing as
an art teacher when I was in school. I finished at University of Arizona in
Tucson. I didn't think I'd get a job at my age, but did. Didn't think I'd
stay, but did. This list kept me going the first year. I'm so very glad I
didn't quit. Now I really enjoy teaching my middle school kids. They are
terrific and their art and ideas inspire me. I did learn to draw, so their
excuses that they "can't draw" don't get anywhere with me. Seeing a kid who is
failing at everything else succeed at art is very rewarding. Some of these
kids are extremely talented in art and it's so good for them to have kids
admiring their work. Seeing the creativity in kids just amazes me. They are
so good. Teaching isn't easy but I learn so much from them - they ask "if
that's the case, why don't we get paid!"

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