This article found here, was a really great pick-me-up for me today. Written by a high school art teacher, who spends his non-teaching time working as an artist with everything from canvas to film, I found it very refreshing and completely inspiring. It also helped me remember what brings me joy. Teaching is definitely one of those things, but the other night as I sat in the living room with Dane, working on an example for my 3rd graders' next project I thought, "I might get really sick of elementary art, really fast."
Now, that's not to say that I don't love what I do. I LOVE it. But like any job, it is a job. And I still need to do things for myself. I know, I know, I still get to do art projects everyday, shouldn't that be fulfilling enough for my creative cravings? Well, when the projects are geared toward teaching basic art principles to 8 yr olds, I just don't get the same ~ness out if it. You know?
It is time for me to get that second bedroom cleaned out, organized and turned into a space where I can work...After all, (Dane doesn't know this but) I am declaring it my space until baby comes and I get to share. Even if I can work only once a week on something just for the sake of that something, I think I will see a little reigniting of my artist spark.
And just so I don't forget, here's a little section from that article I enjoyed:
Last weekend, I set the lesson plans aside to go back and mill around the set. I feel guilty when this sort of thing happens—when I use my free time to become a better artist. I wonder if perhaps my students will suffer from what I perceive to be my lack of whole-hearted dedication to what goes on between the bells. And yet, just when I feel as though I ought to put my pen, paper, and storyboards down, I remember that whether or not I ever do create anything of note as a screenwriter (or painter, or poet, or memoirist, or ukulele virtuoso), it is this very passion that lights me up for teaching.
Although I cannot prove it, I believe that when my students see the spark burning in my eyes as I convey to them my own love of creation, the spark travels, spreads, and finally ignites them as well. There is nothing more inspiring for my own work than to be surrounded by young minds alive and ablaze at the chance to dance within the indescribable wonder of creative activity. I find myself inspired all over again, and the joy enriches both my teaching and my art.
p.s. Who ever said that quote in the subject of my post, has obviously never been a teacher. :)