My goal in life is to be an art educator that practices making art on the side. I’ve always been passionate about art since a young age, and the career that will allow me to share that passion is being a teacher of the arts!
I am currently ready to enter my last semester University of Cincinnati’s school of Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning (DAAP). A bittersweet semester it will be, for I will miss college and art school, but I am ready to start my path to becoming an art teacher.
Before this semester, I had a Saturday school teaching experience, where I co-taught kindergarden level art with another future art educator/friend. For about 6 weeks we met with kids once a week and they created story books. Last year, we also taught and observed a few classes at my alma mater, Sycamore High School.
I had gotten a taste of teaching and really enjoyed it, but still wasn’t completely sure it was the career I wanted. I knew student teaching every day for a semester would give me more experience and a feel for how teaching really is. After being in a middle school and high school setting for a combination of around 14 weeks, I am pleased to say that teaching is what I am meant to do. I was sad to leave both placements at Princeton Middle School and Mason High School.
I was surprised to find that I loved the middle school age-honestly I wasn’t expecting that at all. I’ve had experience teaching kindergarden and grades 6-12. I have discovered that I can work with any age. I’ve always been good with kids and believe I can handle them at almost any age in school. After this experience, I have found that I would like to teach high school art the most. Of course, I will accept any teaching position that comes my way, but if I could teach high school students, that would fit my educator style the best.
After teaching an elementary art class, photography, and digital art classes, I figure I would be able to teach anything art related-except ceramics. Unfortunately clay is one medium I can’t seem to grasp. I’d most like to teach a foundations art class or painting, but anything art related will make me happy.
What I’ve learned about myself is I have a good rapport with students. I am able to engage with them individually, evaluate their needs, and help them to the best of my ability. My mentors have noted this as well, and have told me I have evident enthusiasm and passion while teaching. Being likable, approachable, and helpful allowed me to form positive relationships with my students.
My biggest improvements include having a more authoritative “teaching voice” and being more confident in front of the classroom. Public speaking has always terrified me, but with students it is not as daunting and I’ve gotten better at speaking in front of a classroom. I also have gotten slightly better at discipline, although that is an area I wish to improve on. I don’t plan on being a strict art teacher, but wish to learn to balance being nice and fun while enforcing the rules.
I have learned so much in these past few months, mainly that there is so much more to teaching than everyone thinks. Even with all of the paperwork, long hours, and grading, I know it is what I want to do for the rest of my life, and my passion for art and my students will drive me to be the best teacher I can be.
I can’t wait to begin teaching and be able to express my style and art education philosophy fully. The next step for me is to finish my edTPA, take my exams, and graduate! I’m looking forward to a future of art education and sharing my love for creativity with potential future artists.