Why an Art Teacher?

December 22, 2009
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If art is expressing yourself, a way to show your innermost emotions and ideals, if art is a way to draw people together, for a purpose or a product, then what is the art teacher? To not only follow these principles, but to pass them down to others, an art teacher can change lives. They live out those lives they change by guiding those students to succeed. In short, they are honored mentors, advisors, and even friends.

Having had the privilege of being an art student for several years now, I have had first-hand experience with how important and pivotal a role the art teacher plays. I certainly never would have come so far, nor ever desired to become a teacher, if not for the impression they had left on me. They have inspired me to chase a dream, rather than keep myself secure with a safer, easier job in higher demand.

For years now, I have heard how art is slowly being severed from the curriculum in public schools. I can’t personally say if this cut is as rapid as I’ve heard, but just from day-to-day class I know that competition for such jobs is exceptionally high. I have never thought I was the best at what I do, but I know that I love my artwork, and that I have the skill to compete. Moreover, I know I have the drive to succeed. I have the potential, and I will make it.

Many people in the past have asked me, “Why don’t you strive for a safer career? Why not follow up on drafting, for example? It’s in high demand,” and it’s true, I certainly could. However I cannot, in good conscience, pursue a career that would not keep me happy. I have tried to be as helpful as possible to my fellow art students, sharing what I know, and have learned that there is no greater joy for me than sharing my skills with others, and no greater honor than being asked to do so. The choice is clear; no other career would keep me as happy as that.

I want to enjoy and embrace the privilege of teaching others in the way that my own art teachers taught me to embrace art itself. I want to chase that dream, to the ends of the Earth if I have to. Moreover, and most importantly, I want to keep a tradition of teacher after teacher alive, I want to inspire my student to show themselves, and chase their own dreams. I want to teach, and thus to live.

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