Artists come in all kinds of shapes, colors, and sizes, and are often covered with chalk.
This year, I started teaching art at St Lawrence Catholic School in Muncie (Link).
Yes, I said I was retiring. Artists don't retire, especially when it comes to encouraging kids to express themselves. I visualize each day, every week, as an"arm" of my life, as an artist reaching out. On one day or more I reach out through art at the Main Street Shelter. Wednesdays is with my peer art group. On Sunday nights, figure painting at BSU, Friday afternoon painting with the neighborhood kids and Mondays to kids in my new structured job at the school.
My impression of school? Kids are great. Teachers and administration are friendly and loving. I have been rubbing shoulders with capable, lively, and caring teachers. At the end of Mondays I see teachers who have expended their energy and then keep on going with a teachers' meeting, communication with parents or planning the next day. They are worth their weight in gold when it comes to caring!
St.Lawrence is a school that is family oriented. There are many opportunities to gather outside of school and church. Though it is Catholic oriented, it universally reaches out to anyone anywhere....even me. That is what impressed me first.
The thing that has changed since I taught school years ago is the mountain of accountability that is measured through forms and online planning. It has to be and it is helpful. When I taught art before, it was naturally recreational in nature and I just did projects trusting the kids were growing and learning and expressing themselves. Now, I am acclimating myself to justifying each lesson and placing standards with them. It is eye opening. It is all good. I just say....moderation in all things. Yeh.
So far, I feel appreciated and directed. It is a worthy endeavor.