One of the things I love about my job as a teacher is inspiring people in ways I did not expect. For the first time since I’ve had my own classroom, I have an aide in one of my classes. It’s really pretty fantastic. I actually went to school with her so it’s been nice to reconnect.
I hear all the time from students and adults alike that they can’t draw. I am a firm believer that anyone can draw given the time and inclination to practice and learn but no one believes me! It really bothers me.
When I started my portrait unit with my studio kids, I heard the usual protests of self doubt. While students worked, the aide in the room and I were talking quietly and she said that she could never draw and never took an art class in school. The way she was talking sounded kind of wistful and I told her if the students could do it, so could she. That’s what this whole unit was about, teaching them the tools and skills to succeed in their drawing. I suggested she draw a portrait with them… And she did. It turns out, she can draw fantastically! She went home that weekend and couldn’t stop drawing. She went out and bought her own drawing pencils and sketchbook, has drawn at least three portraits since Christmas, and been commissioned to draw a couple for their anniversary.
To me, this is what teaching is all about; inspiring people in unexpected ways. I love when someone blossoms and finds pride in their accomplishments. Seeing someone take what I’ve taught them and run with it, grow with it, and make it their own, reaffirms why I do what I do. This is why I became a teacher.