This I Believe

Connie - 82001, Wyoming
Entered on April 16, 2006

“I love the smell of art in the mornings!” Frequently, I’ve started my classes with this statement. Usually I get weird looks, a few giggles, and always everyone’s attention.

My students have transformed my life of mediocrity, to a life full of intensity and zeal.

My goal early in life was to become a rich and famous artist. This didn’t happen; I floundered through my youthful year’s right after graduating from college. I didn’t produce a piece of art. After ten years, of my feeble life as a cook, I stumbled into teaching; I started teaching adults two nights a week who wanted to learn pottery. I felt like a fraud. It had been years since I had even touched clay. The first few months I struggled making my hands remember what they had been so good at years before. One day one of my students touched me in a way that changed my life forever. She stopped me at craft fair and critiqued the pottery. I realized I had taught her something. This tiny moment has shaped and formed my life; from this experience I discovered I loved teaching.

Now ten years later, my junior high students affect me in this way everyday. My role as an educator is to be an art cheerleader, I cheer to my students, adults, and colleagues alike. I teach as if this will be my student’s last and only year of art. I have to cover it all in such a short time. In this year, they will make art, write art, talk art; dream art and most of all appreciate art. Of course, I want my students to grow up and become rich and famous artists, but if they survive my “art boot camp” I know they will be lovers and appreciators of the arts.

I believe my students have given me the most beautiful gift; they have awakened the power of creativity in me. With so much artistic potential in my classes my students give me the energy to create, and to be a working, professional artist.

In return, I give the arts to my student’s; the arts are everywhere you just have to notice them. Once you become aware of art you have to know what to do with it. I transform my students to art detectives. They are not allowed to causally look at art, but to carefully inspect the clues and details. This is a tool that will serve them well; it will tell them the real meaning of art. What is the real meaning of art? It is; to make the viewer think, ask questions, connect to the artwork, and how it correlates to your life. It will fill you with a sense of wonder, and a sense of satisfaction.

I believe in the power to share your passion. I believe in the power of art. I believe with the help of my students I am on my way to becoming a rich and famous artist.