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This message is for you, burnt-out art teacher. I know who you are: The year is winding down. You are starting to dream about lazy mornings with coffee and crosswords (no? is that just me?) The smell of tempera paint is making you gag. If you have to identify the owner of a nameless Angry Birds drawing again, you might just rethink your career choice. Did these kids get anything you taught them this year!?
I am here to tell you, they absolutely did! You have had an real impact on your students this year and I know it. Can you feel it? I can relate if you can’t quite get there at this point, when you are still finding pencil shavings in alarming places on your person. But know this, frazzled art teacher, someone out there knows how hard you’ve worked this year. I know how many hours you spent putting up that art show. I know how late you stayed that night a kiln bomb took out every third-grader’s coil pot. I know how much you care for your kiddoes and how much you want them to succeed through art.
As my last week of school came to a close, I handed back artwork to all of my students, including my favorite lesson: a self portrait from the beginning of the year mounted with one from the year’s end. My first grade friend Yassin lent his to me just for this article. It reminded me that despite the spills, the insanity, the failures, the victories, and the artiness of it all, my students learned something. I hope his portrait reminds you of the same thing. Happy Summertime, teach!
What is one growth or success story you would like to share?
How did you make a difference this year?