Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The End (for now)

Over the last 6 and a half years I have been on a teaching journey. Little did I know back when I was in college pursuing my dream of becoming a teacher that I would start my career in such an interesting way, teaching students online. In my first year, I tackled translating the visual arts into the online setting with help of those who had been doing it for years before me (my AMAZING co-workers). Like my students, I found this type of education to be exciting, fulfilling, and innovative.

Every day was an adventure and I felt a part of a community of educators doing something special, something amazing and different. I was helping students reach new heights, find themselves, and along the way, I found myself as an educator. My love for my job was all-encompassing, my love for my students and my colleagues and everything we were working towards was off the charts. I was not only able to be a teacher to my students but also found ways to teach other teachers, leading professional development, pioneering new technology in my classroom, writing my Master's Thesis project, creating my own Art TV show, and sharing my love of art with thousands. Teaching online has given me more opportunities in 6 and a half years than many teachers get in a lifetime.

It was with great sorrow when I lost my position several weeks ago when my school closed. I am mourning that loss. The loss of something special. The loss of a community. The loss of my students. More than anything, the loss of my opportunity to teach. A job loss can affect anyone negatively of course. Financially it is a blow; finding health insurance, searching for a new job, rebuilding networks and connections are all difficult. For a teacher, it might also feel like losing a dream, losing a calling, or even losing a sense of self. Who am I if not, "Art Teacher"? It is hard to feel complete when one's mission in life is put on hold. However, I have always taught my students to never give up and that life has a way of working out even when it seems hopeless. Each day we must start anew, hold on to hope, and push towards a better tomorrow. I don't know where my next journey will lead, the online classroom, brick and mortar, or higher education, but I know for certain that education is where I belong. Thank you for joining me on this journey, and know if you are struggling with a loss, you're not alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment