I recently wrapped up a five-week art class in Cornwall, near my home. I was thrilled to have almost ALL of the students sign up for the next classes, as excited as if it was new.
In addition to that, I decided to start a class in Kemptville, the town in which I work. I’m overwhelmed at how quickly it is filling up, and how grateful the parents are. I keep reading things like “Thank you for this opportunity!” and “We’re so happy that you’ve made this possible!”
To say that I’m surprised is an understatement! For the past two years I’ve offered lessons and happily ran them with a couple of kids in each. Suddenly, it’s as if I’m this incredibly talented celebrity offering classes on how to lay golden eggs. I’m not saying I’m no good – actually, I think I’m pretty good – or at any rate, if I were a student, I am the teacher I would want. I run the classes casually, but offer careful, individual and what I hope is meaningful feedback. I’m positive and encouraging, but always help the kids find ways to improve their work. They receive ten or fifteen minutes of instructions, and at least an hour of work-time. But anyway, I digress. They’re so, so, so thrilled about this opportunity, which is rattling my brain, as it seems like it is more of an opportunity for me.
I teach art classes to help pay extra bills, but moreso for selfish internal reasons. I like being around creative people. I like working with kids. So when you combine kids with creativity, you get the best of the best. Because unlike creative adults, kids aren’t snooty or tainted! I also get to practice what I preach, and learn as I teach. It practices my critical artist eye and allows me to look at objects in new light, through the eyes of more innocent artists. It’s the best job there could be.
It’s the best job there could be because not only do I get to teach, but I have no curriculum, no grades, no tests, and no behaviourial issues to deal with … I get the joy of teaching without the added “stuff” that I work on when I’m doing my regular teaching. It’s also the best job because I get to be around art and around artistic, weird, creative, unique, funny people.
What could be better?