One of the best moments from this week happened on Tuesday. I have had many moments since to reflect on this and still looking back I take it as a gift. I think the best moments in our teaching are the ones that bring us to why we wanted to become a teacher in the first place. The art room provided me a voice, a place to explore my dreams. I hope that I can give the same to my students. It was the conversation I had with one of my 8th grade students Austin that really touched me. It began with him asking me in a very caring and wondering manner if I always knew I wanted to be an art teacher. I responded by saying that I always knew I wanted to do something in the arts. In elementary I showed interest in art middle I knew I wanted to do something with it and in high school I decided I wanted to be a teacher. He then asked me how I was so good at art and why he was so bad at it. I was able to tell him something I hope to instill in all my students no matter their interests… work hard and practice. If you’re driven enough to do something, you can make it happen no matter what. I then asked him what his interests where? What he wanted to do when he graduated. He said that his grandfather was a Marine and that since he was 6 he always knew that’s what he wanted to do. We then talked about how important doing well in school was and being a good example for others. The important role being a Marine would hold. He told me that he knows he needs to do well in school in order to become a Marine.
What made this moment so special was the fact that all I had ever heard about this student was his behavior problems. I had seen this student out of class with his friends and even questioned them myself. However, I see great potential in this student. I see that he wants to do well and has dreams of holding a position of great strength and bravery. I look at this student and although he later that day got an Out School Suspension my thoughts on this student and his potential are the same. I hope that he can see his future as one that is bright, one that he has every potential to reach. I find students like Austin to be so interesting. I wonder a lot about students that act out or struggle in school. These are the students I want to reach though art.