Friday, December 16, 2011

Missouri Art Educator of the Year

Even thought I am on Christmas break....and the week before break is always a little crazy...

It is still a special time of year.

I haven't said it enough, but I am having a great year. I am really loving the fact that for the most part, my kindergarten classes are 'trained'...they have the procedures figured out, for the most part, which makes my job so much easier. We are over the CRYING far as I can tell....its been several weeks since anyone has been really frustrated to tears during art....

Also, the students this year seem to really love me. When I walk down the hall in the morning, I have to stop and hug at least 20-30 kids....and it is amazing. Seriously. I have some special kids this year. I will be sad to send them off to first grade at the end of the year.

Working at a kindergarten center is just tough!!

But it is also incredibly sweet.

I have a couple of classes of kids that leave art or arrive to art with someone saying "Mrs. Mitchell, I love you" along with a sweet hug. This is the first year that I have ever had kids show me so much love. I don't say that I love them back, I just hug them and say thank you. But I really do love them back. Even the clumsy ones...and the messy gluers, and the clueless ones, and the sweet quiet ones, and the wild ones, and the funny ones.

On Monday, a little kindergarten girl gave me this heart-melting little note. Granted, I am the only art teacher she has ever had, it means so much that she would use her new-found writing skills to tell me that she appreciates me.

I have another big announcement that is bringing some extra special happiness to the season.

A few weeks ago I got a phone call from the Missouri Art Education Association (my profession organization) and I was selected as the Missouri Art Educator of the Year.

For the whole state.

Not just elementary, but overall....I am still in shock and completely honored that they chose me for this prestigious award.

It means so much to be recognized with the highest honor at the state level.
In March, I will go to the state conference and receive my award. And I will give a speech. And I am already nervous. But I am so proud. When I go to the conferences, I always feel like I am surrounded by people who are just like me....more than anywhere else or anything else that I do...the conferences are are amazing. And I have made lots of friends around the state who are art teachers. We share the same profession and the same passion and now I am going to go formally express my gratitude for their recognition.

I debated announcing this award on Facebook...or here on the blog...because I didn't want to seem like I was bragging...but I am really proud of this accomplishment. And it has really motivated me to keep blogging about my happy art teacher experiences.

I am not a perfect art teacher. And I'll be the first to admit that I thought about quitting (in my first 3 years). But now I feel like I am really where I am supposed to be and what I do is incredibly important.

Anyway thanks for reading. I am looking forward to spending the next week with my friends and family, celebrating the holidays.

Merry Christmas!!


Kate said...

Congratulations!! You seem like a fantastic art teacher, and your students are lucky to have you. I'm glad you're being recognized. Thanks for sharing it with us so we can celebrate with you! :)

kszwahl said...

That is so wonderful to hear your year is going so well! And Congratulations on your MAEA Teacher of the Year award. I also know the MAEA HS Art Teacher of the Year! This so cool!
Have a great break and enjoy your time off.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Congratulations Nellie Mae! That is so well deserved!!!
I still think you should also win an award for your Joplin hurricane series on the blog.

Shawn said...

Nellie Mae I know I have told you congratulations already but wanted to express it again. You are so RIGHT for kids. I am glad u decided to "stick" it out. Your students are lucky to have someone like you to teach them art. Have a merry Christmas!!!

jim norris said...

Wanna know how out of the loop I am? I just now discovered that you were the MO Art Educator of the Year - that's what I get for jumping off of Facebook and for not attending conferences! Congratuations to you!! (Now that I think about it, I bet you won because of showing your students my self-portrait project. Yeah...that's gotta be it...)