Today was definitely one of those days when I woke up looked at myself and wondered if all this internet stuff I have cared about so much... trying to build and grow is worth it. I hate when that happens because it's so discouraging. You ask yourself why and for every answer you muster you have some reason to cut it down.
I'm getting a lot better and not letting little things dig deep and hurt me but some days it only takes one tiny little thing or nothing at all to make you question everything. So that's how I have felt all day today. Granted it might have been two small meaningless things that caused me to feel like that but it happens.
I started back at the after school program this week and I was very excited. It's really good for me to because I get out of the apartment and get to interact with people and kids one on one. I love it for all the reasons and the fact that it is more hands on and open to exploration. I also like the fact that I can work with kids in small groups of 12 or less and talk with each of them. I also love that it is only a couple hours a day after school. Even though you think kids are tired and useless by then they really seem their most awake.
As for being an actual art teacher, I don't think I would be happy in a regular school. It's really hard to say that because I spent 5 years of my life getting a degree and working towards it. I was confident and excited that this was going to be my job for life. I was excited to have summers off, weekends and holidays. I was excited to end a job early in the day, the benefits, the stability, and having my own environment to work in with Kids (the best part)!
I love to sub so don't get me wrong when I say this but every time I have subbed I come home and thank god that I am not an actual teacher. I sub for art teachers and I love the classroom, the kids, the projects but there is so much I see that makes me thankful to not have an art teaching job yet. So I am sure your wondering what I mean by that. One major thing that has dimmed my enthusiasm is how so many schools are cutting out art completely, how they are testing it and how they treat it. It makes me sick and sad, it's really hard to see the light at the end of that tunnel. The other is the connection among the teachers, principal and staff. Even if you have a good moral among teachers your always going to have some who question what your doing or they take advantage of your classroom and you. The parents can be a major issue too even though its a rare occasion. It can only take one to ruin the way you like to teach. All teachers are not only expected to teach but to plan and type up lesson plans that come within certain guide lines. They are responsible for buss duty, car riders, bathroom duty, recess breaks, meetings and more meetings. Volunteering for after school programs and being part of committees. It really becomes a world of its own. You live and breathe the school system in my eyes.
Why did I tell you that? Well I guess I am trying to explain to myself what I am doing. Why I haven't looked for a teaching job yet and why I am not interested in doing so. The only fit I see for myself through all of this is to create my own job. To be an art mentor rather than a public school teacher. To provide a friendly art environment for those who believe in what art can do. To teach children creativity and let them discover their own answers as to how it relates to their lives not the worlds. I want to devote any extra time not to figuring out what the school wants but what kids need. My main goal is to get kids discovering and creating again. Something I feel the school system didn't ever grasp along the way.
As for my little job in the internet world that I have started for myself. I love it but I guess just like any other job that you rely on it can be a bit discouraging. Trying to be patient enough to watch something grow into what you would like it to be is hard. You don't know if you will be able to make it next month or next year. It's scary and thrilling at the same time. There is not benefit package but it keeps me guessing and surprised. That makes me feel alive so even if one day I feel like I'm about to throw in the towel I still know deep down inside this is what makes me happy right now.
Such a random life I have for myself right now but it makes sense as to what I am really striving for. It's just really hard seeing how I will get there. I feel like right now I'm in one of those valleys trying to climb up the side of a mountain to watch the sun rise and set on top.