Friday, September 10, 2010

So, Nellie...how is your year going?

 How is school?

I get that question a lot....I'm sure most people get asked about their careers....So, how is lawyering? How is the lawn care business? How are things going at the office?

What am I supposed to say?

How do I achieve an interesting response without being too boring, mundane, depressing, or overly-enthusiastic?

I always say that things are going good....great...alright...fine....same-old-same-old...back into the routine....etc....

But if people really knew how tiring it is....
How depressing it is...
How lonely life is in a kids world....
I could probably make them cry with one story about the little girl whose personality completely changed in just a couple of weeks. She went from being a sweet, smart, normal girl...to something totally different...the changes were subtle...but when things are going on at home, I can usually tell...I only see them once a week, but their artwork always tells a story....even if they don't intend for it to...
How organized I have to be...
How much I have to clean...wash dishes, wash tables....
How many times I have to put 24 chairs up on the tables and take them all down...in two art rooms...
How much stuff I have to haul in my car....
How bad my back and feet hurt when I try to wear cute shoes...
To play a game and have a 5-year-old yell 'this is boring' at the back of the class is incredibly discouraging...
When a lesson totally bombs and I just want to cry because I have a room full of chaos....(doesn't happen very often, but when it does....YIKES)
The duties. Working in a school isn't just about 'art'....
The co-workers....nearly all women....(I worked for the Highway Patrol in college, mostly men....) it took me a while to make friends at school because there isn't much time for 'adult' communication.
To haul car loads of clay 10 minutes to another building, load and unload them into the kiln room to be fired and then hauled back, using my own gas and time....
To go to Wal-Mart and be spotted by my students...

But....

If people really knew how fun it is to be an art teacher...
To read those books with the crazy voices and make the kids laugh when I drop my marker 35 times during a demonstration and I have to keep bending over to pick it up...
My job really is all about coloring and cutting and painting and gluing....Sometimes I feel guilty when my 'prep' involves writing my name in bubble letters and coloring it in....its just too fun to be work, right?
To get told I am beautiful every day....
To get a dozen hugs, high fives, smiles, and love notes every day....
To be admired by hundreds of sweet souls...
To be so excited about the first day of school that you can't sleep the week before....and sometimes even after a long weekend...
To plan, strategize and think about a project over and over...until I finally get it right...and I figure it out, inside and out so that I can break it down for non-readers, English-as-a-second language, and special needs learners...
To see a project or a unit all the way through, so that every kid is successful and proud of what they created.
Telling a funny joke or a story, that only a kid would laugh at...
To spark a fire for art just with one student's art at the mall, art show, or even in the cafeteria.
To talk about art with kids....and know that they just 'get' it....
To go to Wal-Mart and be a celebrity....'That's my art teacher!" They will whisper and shout to their parents....
And yeah, school is going fine this year....But I am about to fingerpaint with 11 classes of kindergarten....its fundamental at age five and the kids love it...so I sort of have to do it....but I am looking forward to the day it is over.

I am also looking forward to an art conference in October to talk about art teacher things with other art teachers in Missouri and I am really looking forward to it! (If you are going to Knob this year, send me an email, we should totally hang out! I will be staying in the night owl cabin!!)

So if you ask me how school is going, I will probably say 'good' or 'fine' but if you really want to know the truth, it just depends on the day that I have had....and which side of the BUT is weighing more heavily on my heart at the moment.

(These pictures are from my photo booth....I wore a vintage blue polka dot dress for blue day last week....)
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6 comments:

Kate said...

What a great post about being a teacher. Love it! There are definitely days where I can't believe I'm paid to have this much fun...and days when there really isn't enough money to make up for what I have to deal with.

Hearthandmade said...

i could never be a teacher. You guys deserve medals!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great post, and I love the dress. Although I teach love kids and teach (young) adults, I could never teach little kids on a sustained basis. I admire you.
rinda

Christa said...

Though I am not a teacher, I can relate to your post. I am a Dental Hygienist who works with kids from 1year old to 18...not to mention the parents who act like kids themselves. Thanks for your perspective. I really hope you have a great year and the happy "but" wins out.

Tsionah N said...

I am considering teaching... I think that you represent it well.

tsionahnovick.blogspot.com

Erica said...

Couldn't have said it better! I love your wild thing is it tape? Can I steal that idea??? I have a blank wall and we are doing wild things!!!