Help Renew Our Passion for Teaching After a Crisis

In light of the recent tragedies in Connecticut, I can’t help feeling a little lost and damaged.  Our nation is suffering as we search to try to understand why such young and innocent victims were lost.  This crisis has especially damaged the field of teaching.  Stories of teachers hiding their students and sacrificing their own lives are beginning to come forward.  It is human to feel empathy for the loss of those students and teachers and to question schools, gun laws and even our profession.  But instead, I am hoping we can focus on all the positives, the little tiny moments, funny stories and heart-warming experiences that inspired us to become teachers and help us to keep our passion for teaching alive.  Lets help each other renew our love of teaching and share some stories and images that heal.

This is my son, Nolan.  He is 20 months old and he is painting with watercolors for the very first time.  The look on his face in this picture is why I get up in the morning and continue to do what I do.  Pure. Awe.  This is why I am an art teacher.  I love that expression, on my own son or any other person’s face.  I love the simple joy creating brings, the new experiences, the exploration, the endless boundaries.

What is your inspiration for teaching? 

How do you keep your passion for teaching and art alive? 

Please share a favorite story or image.

Let’s come together to help our community heal.

Heather Crockett

Heather is AOE’s Project Manager and an expert in differentiation, curriculum development, and assessment. She is a veteran teacher in the art room and at the graduate level.


  • erica

    Hoping to focus on the positives while at work today as well. I think it is important to address the hard issues as well or the momentum for the change we need will be lost. It is our nature to be peaceful and positive and quiet which is why we are never heard.  My inspiration for teaching is children. So finding a way to create healing change through the arts keeps my passion alive. 

  • If anyone is looking for a creative, art-related way to help support the victims of Sandy Hook, check out the link below.  The school’s PTSA is looking for paper snowflakes to turn their new building into a winter wonderland for students returning in January.

  • Smoons

    Every morning I have hallway duty, and during our moment of silence I look at all the kids in the hall standing still, and pray silently to myself, “Thank you for placing me in this building, in these hallways, and giving me the opportunity to work with these sweet babies every single day.”  I try to see them as little lights of creativity and praise every positive move they make.  I love to see their faces light up when I compliment their artwork and point out the things I LOVE about thier creative ideas… 

  • It helps me to think about the energy that kids bring into the art room when they come barreling in ready to see what new lesson or material the art teacher has waiting for them. They wait all week to come to art class. For some, its the reason they come to school. This is my inspiration. 

  • Ldevlin

    I recently lost, nothing like the people in Sandyhook Conn.  My loss was from Sandy the storm.  My basement art room was flooded to the ceiling and everything….. everything was lost.  37 years of Samples, books and supplies, Students art work including students portfolios ready to take to college admissions interviews.  It was devastating.  But I can tell you the love, care and concern that came from all over America was and is overwhelming.  My students are inspired daily by the generosity of school children from Illinois and Maryland who are fundraising for us, Teachers from Pa, NJ, WI and SC have sent books and supplies.  The love and caring of people all over America who care about my kids and care about providing my kids with art is inspiring. People are good and sharing their goodness everyday.  Thank you 

    • Thank you for sharing such a touching and inspiring story.  It is important to acknowledge all the goodness in the world.

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