Close the book
Teaching is one of those magical professions that every year we get to close the book on a very interesting and unique chapter. It is wonderful chance to recognize an end, reflect, and have time to rebuild and renew again. And year after year, the book opens again and again.
This year was no different, and in many ways, harder than ever. Yesterday, we had an end of the year faculty meeting and I had a chance to read a letter that I wrote to myself in the beginning of the school year. Before I read my own letter, I looked around. Some teachers laughed as they read their letter, others become very emotional. When I read my own, I started checking off in my head all the things I had written and set out to do, I will probably file this away in a drawer later. This is just how my mind works. Everyone's letter is a mirror to themselves, their wants. their fears, and their dreams.
I am trying to wrap my head around all the things that I hoped to accomplish this year. I was so honored to have a student teacher in my classroom this year, for the first time in fifteen years!
It was a great experience that I would recommend any teacher do, as you really get insights into your own teaching as well as having an Art teacher buddy. It's well known that most specials teachers can feel isolated at their school, as they do not have a large team of teachers that share the same subject matter. I try to reach out to as many art teachers as I can in other places and parts of the world to find that common connection.
I was also able to attend the NAEA (National Art Education Association) conference in New York City in March. This was such an incredible gathering of art teachers, artists, and just generally cool people in the most creative place on earth. Below are some highlights from the conference, which was also, a wonderful experience for my family :)
In March, we also marked two years since the Covid-19 pandemic. Again, the emotions came in strong with this one. I was asked to make a school-wide mural to recognize this milestone. I spent about a week after school painting a visual representation of "Gratitude"- we decided on a natural/botanical theme with vines, flowers, leaves, and a sunset. Each class wrote on a leaf different messages of gratitude. It was heartwarming to see what the students wrote!
Right before Spring break we were able to welcome Atlanta-based artist Reggie Laurent to our school via Zoom. This was an awesome morning for Enfield artists, as they were able to make a quick abstract collage with Reggie and add more details/paint in Art class the following week. Below is a picture of all the artworks together at our Festival of the Arts this year.
While we are on the subject of Festival of the Arts, I was honored to bring back this end of the school year tradition in early May with showing artworks of every Enfield artist in our new school!
Below are some highlights!
Some of the last things that I wanted to introduce to the artists this year was my love of wheelthrowing! We were able to practice a tiny bit of wheelthrowing with Second grade this year. Unfortunately, the clay supply ran out so I was only able to show this to a limited number of students, which I hope to expand upon next year!
Finally, I tried to squeeze in a bit of art playtime for myself. I hope to expand upon some Plein air work this summer and take some time to RELAX. Next fall, a new chapter begins :)
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