I want to do more as a teacher. Before I had a couple of wonderful kids, most of my hours were spent in my classroom or working at home. Now, my family is my main priority, and I love every minute of it. There are a lot of teaching things I don’t do anymore–not because I don’t want to, but because my priorities have shifted. No more early mornings. No more staying at school for all hours of the evening. No more trips from Omaha to Des Moines for National Portfolio Day, or trips from Omaha to Kansas City for college visits.
Instead, I’ve backed into a process that is less demanding and doesn’t require much of me outside of the school day. The process is ultimately successful, but not always as meaningful for me as a teacher. I’ve found that each year has become an exercise pushing forward, pushing my students forward, teaching them, preparing them for the next level, and helping them create some incredible art. It’s a great job, I love every minute, but I can’t shake the feeling that I am spinning my wheels. At this point, it’s not enough for me.
I want to reflect on what I do. I want to think more about my teaching, and think more about my thinking. I want to write. There are a lot of reasons for this, and most of them are personal and specific to how I want to improve my teaching. My hope, however, is that some of my reflections can be more than that for those who may be reading this. I want my thoughts, reflections, lessons, and ideas to help other people with their own teaching. I don’t have aspirations of being a great inspiration, but if these writings can open doors to collaboration and some sharing of new ideas, I will be more than content.
There are very few blogs from high school art teachers–with the notable exceptions of Ian Sands and Colleen Rose–that are really worthwhile. I want to be a part of filling that void. I will never pretend to know everything, but I am confident enough in what I do that I think sharing my ideas, thoughts, reflections, and projects will be worthwhile. I hope those who read this will agree.