Sometimes life takes twists and turns you don’t expect. I’m not one for “pouring my heart out” on this professional space, but today I am going to unload and give you the real story. A lot has happened in the last two months and today I want to share the whole story with you, now that I know the whole story! :) Spoiler alert: I have a new career. Let me explain….
I get emails sometimes and people ask me “How do you do it all, you must be superwoman?” Run AOE (which includes writing and teaching classes, editing content, developing ebooks, PD PAKS, etc) teach elementary art, wife, mother, extra committee work, presenting at conferences, etc.. etc…
I really don’t know how to answer that. I am definitely not superwoman. I would just shrug it off and say “watch less TV” (which is true) however, it’s not the whole truth. I was drowning. During the 4 months after coming back from maternity leave last spring I was teaching full time, facilitating the art department and running AOE, plus this all important new job of being a mom! This was one of the hardest 4 months of my life.
Even though I had signed a contract to go part time next year, I still didn’t know how I would manage.
The truth is I was fooling myself into thinking I was going to be able to “do it all” and if you know me, I want to do it all well.
But then something happened that brought me total clarity. My husband got new job offer and it meant we were moving. Not just anywhere, but both of us back to our home town. (Insert cheer from both Grandmas!)
And like that, within two weeks I resigned from my teaching job, we packed up everything and headed “Home.”
But where would I find a job teaching art? There were no jobs at the end of the Summer! In my heart, I knew my path was clear, and my new career was right in front of me.
I was going to become the Founder of AOE, full time.
But wait, isn’t teaching art is my passion? My Element? I’ve wanted to be an art teacher since I was in 3rd grade, and a part of me will always miss being in the classroom, especially the little things like teaching a first grader to mix red and yellow for the first time. One good thing is that I won’t be completely be out of the classroom, in fact I’ll probably get to try out a lot more things, and see a lot more unique approaches as I’ll be spending time volunteering in Art Rooms around my home and all around the country as I travel for AOE. That idea makes me feel very comforted and confident about the quality of content that I and the rest of the AOE team will continue to provide our amazing readers!
But something interesting has happened over the past few years. I realized I also had a passion for something else. A sub-category in my passions of life, and that is EMPOWERING ART TEACHERS. It just keeps nagging me. I LOVE DOING THIS. I want this to be my full time job. I can reach more students, reach more teachers, and make a greater impact on the field of Art Education using this platform. I love creating new things, I love being my own boss, and I also love thinking about what art teachers need, and finding creative solutions to their problems. I love the flexibility this provides for my family, although I would argue I am working harder now than ever before, but it’s passionate work, work that fuels you and gives you energy, not drains you.
The good news is, I have found what I am meant to do. I never thought I would just up and quit teaching, but you see, I didn’t quit, and I didn’t retire… I got a new career in art education.
Now I can devote my time 100% to getting you the best resources possible, teaching art education at the graduate level, and empowering our readers though more new content, products, initiatives, and more. For example, we just launched PD PAKS, which are consulting packages for art departments. It’s things like this I wouldn’t be able to bring you if I was still teaching full time.
Whether you found us today, or have been here since the beginning, I thank you for supporting The Art of Education and trusting us to be your #1 resource for all things “Art Ed.” The best is yet to come!…..