Sunday, 12 June 2011

Art Teacher

Warning: what follows is a completely rambly train of thoughts. No sense. No logic. Just as they tumbled out of my head...
 I'm an Art teacher. In a big secondary school. Ages 11 to 18 (and sometimes even a bit beyond that) and I utterly love it. Everyday I learn something new or see something in a totally different light. My students constantly inspire and surprise me. To me it is of the utmost importance (and almost a responsibility) to be a practitioner too. The old saying of 'practising what you preach' etc..etc. How could I have any credentials with the students if I don't go through it too?  I teach because I believe in growing through art, not just learning new skills, but as a means of expression and making sense of the world. I believe in art and culture as an essential part of human existence. In fact is it possibly what makes us human. I do often have to fight my corner, justify the places of arts in education. In fact that's what I wrote my dissertation on many years ago. It's becoming a bit of a specialist subject.. actually these days I almost welcome the question 'why should my child study art?'. It breaks my heart when children arrive to me and state that they are rubbish because they can't draw. Art is so much more than drawing. But drawing, in all it's different guises, is the building block of visual communication. It's not about being able to draw a bowl of fruit (goodness how boring!) but about using symbols (after all that is what drawing is) in a similar way to using writing to express ideas. Everyday is so different. An undulating landscape of highs and lows, never quite feeling on top of everything. Sheer delight and the deepest of frustrations. I adore my job and wouldn't have it any other.
But for now, I am deeply embroiled in it: Exam arrangements, preparation, planning, assessment, wrangling with the useless Microsoft Publisher, making resources, organising, writing, getting to grips with new systems. I am a practitioner, but at the moment, you wouldn't know it...


  1. I have a friend who is currently studying to become an art teacher and she's having similar issues with not producing much for herself as she's always busy with essays, placements and deadlines!

    Summer will soon be here though lovely, and you'll have a 6 glorious weeks to enjoy creating! I hope your students all do well with their upcoming exams!

    Jem xXx

  2. I know and I always miss school on the holidays! Everybody else thinks I'm odd for that! Where is your friend training? xx

  3. I am lucky that both of our girl's appreciate art and are both studying art degree's. one in fine art, the other in illustration.I am immensely proud of both of them and the work they produce. their degree is just as valid as any other, it still requires as much (if not more) study and concentration and dedication. I will be proud of whatever they do once they have finished uni.

  4. I know how hard you work for your students. The rewards that you get from them must be tremendous. You are a seed sower, planting and nurturing artistic skills and the love of art in your students. To me this makes a person whole. As you say it is not merely painting and drawing. It is much, much more. Loving the arts gives excitement, creativity, inspiration and an appreciation of creation itself. ….x

  5. When I was in high school my art teach was the only one to really inspire me, the first photo is really beautiful.


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