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RE: Madeline's Question - Why I became an Art Teacher


From: San D (kprs_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Sep 26 2004 - 15:37:59 PDT

I knew very early on I wanted to be a teacher. Maybe because I moved every
22 months (Dad in the army) and that teachers become the safe haven for me
in each new school. I worked hard as a youngster to please them, and through
the work and their encouragment, became a more confident human being. They
were kind to me in times of distress and dispair (I hated moving so often,
yearned for roots). I try to emulate that kindness to my students and try to
also be a beacon to them, as my teachers were to me. In 8th grade I had a
fabulous art teacher who took her classes on weekend jaunts in the country
to draw. We all rode bicycles. She was into photography, and took numerous
pictures of me (and I am sure the other kids too) and blew them up to 8 x
10's and gave them to me. I had them for years. I was, and still am, awkward
about my looks and place in society in terms of classic 'beauty'. She made
me feel so special. To honor her, I try to make my students feel special as
well. I always drew as a visual diary to our moves, and spent hours creating
everything from original sweaters to handmade books. I wrote plays, poems
and novellas, all portable arts for a young woman alone. I didn't 'settle'
into becoming an art teacher immediately though. I thought of myself as a
teacher first, an artist second. I went to school to become a math teacher
(with the goal of helping students to find the joy in math as I had), and
came out an art teacher. I switched my freshmen year, portfolio in hand to
the department chair. I guess I knew I should be an art teacher. 28 years
and many students later, I can't figure out where the time went.

San D