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Lesson Plans

still artists?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra L. Eckert (seart)
Mon, 22 Jul 1996 20:49:11 -0400

I, too, completed my BFA, then my teaching certificate. I just KNEW I could
do both, teach and make my own art (raise a daughter, be a wife...) I do,
occasionally actually accomplish that goal, although I feel that my growth
as a mature artist has not developed as intensely as I would have liked it
to. I have found, however, that my motives have changed; I am happy
teaching, and look to my students as my end product now. They are one of my
art forms.
Teaching is intellectually exhausting, if you do it with conviction, but it
is a satisfying exhaustion. There is more to teaching art than just the
interaction with the students, things you may not be aware of. Art
education is always struggling for identity in a public school; politics can
be difficult. It is really important to be well read on current trends and
movements, and to be active and visible in your school and community. All
of that takes time and energy. Add to that the development of studio
skills, constant interaction with the students, the sheer MASS of problem
solving and brainstorming you do every day, and classroom management
(discipline), and your own work sometimes suffers.
I have never been more fulfilled than I am as an art teacher. I know in my
soul that what I am doing is important, and will touch many lives. I
wouldn't want to do anything else. And although I don't create as much
personal work as I would like to, I'm active in my State Art Ed. Association
and my school, and feel good about my contributions.

It's all a process of checks and balances, like any other part of life. You
have to find out where you feel comfortable, and function on that level. At
first, I felt like I was letting something go, when my personal art
production went down, but I know I'm doing what I can, where I can. Just
reaching a couple of kids a year makes it worthwhile. And I still get a
chance to show my work every now and then! The best of both worlds!