I’ve heard time and time again that, as teachers, we never stop learning. We provide so much to our students that we don’t realize how much they are giving back to us in return. I will be honest though, this past week was rough at times; I felt overwhelmed on top of feeling like I wasn’t doing nearly enough. Between time crunches, students not wanting to pay attention, and the images in my head of what I would hope these projects will look like, I have felt a little defeated. Time goes by entirely too fast in life, and a lot of the time it feels like you can’t get a handle on it. I hate that feeling. We aspire to so much that sometimes, as much as we might not want to, we need to accept that some things just aren’t going to work; and that’s okay. (And don’t worry, I have also learned this the hard way)
We see a lot online, in articles, and in books that we move too fast and everyone needs to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. This is one of those social media messages that I will actually stand behind. As a student teacher I have seen how much these students can impact my own creativity and learning. It’s insane to me because they have no idea they are even doing it. They don’t realize the things I will always remember and the moments I will replay in my mind. In the midst of all the chaos I was still able to find a few moments to stand back and see exactly how these students have been impacting me. Watching as they experiment with multiple sketch ideas, or mix colors for a linoleum print, I realize that I can do the same things. Why couldn’t I? I limit myself so much when I become caught up in those minute details of our everyday that may cause us to lose track of what is actually happening. This week, as I watched my students take their art into their own hands and try new things, I decided to take that same faithful leap. I am experimenting with new mediums, writing, putting my name out there, being a little crazy in the classroom.
These kids don’t realize what they have done for me; and I can only hope that I have provided them with that same feeling of safety. It is okay to be a little crazy, to have big dreams, to experiment, and to fail. Each and every one of those things are so crucial to both our teaching and learning processes. These kids are in the midst of finding themselves and, I must say, it is a long journey, I’m not there myself; regardless, I truly feel that we are helping each other in that confusing but fun adventure through life. So to my students…I thank you.