July 19, 2012

why I became an art teacher (pt. 4)

As I let the door slam behind me I had never been more certain of any decision in my life.

If you are a believer you will find that sometimes when the Lord calls you to do something, it is not always butterflies and rainbows. I have found though that hard roads are the most rewarding. My meeting with the art education adviser did not go well. Skepticism stared at me from across the desk. I wasn't prepared for an interrogation but that is exactly what I got. I suppose she was simply concerned that if I had quit one major what did that say about my character. She thought I was a quitter. I saw myself as being brave though. Daring to do something that involved a lot of risk, especially for a junior in college. She begrudgingly reviewed my coursework and set up a plan for the next semester before she sent me to the office to officially declare my major.

something to prove
As I walked down the hall to the office I felt relief. At least I had passed the test, but I had not done it with flying colors. I think that is when I set it in my heart to prove to her and the other art ed professors that I would leave my mark on the program. I would not let her regret letting me in. Although the degree program was not without its challenges it was a breath of fresh air when compared to where I had been. I actually enjoyed getting up in the morning to go to class. As time passed,  me and some of my fellow classmates began to impress the advisers. Who knew that simply showing up and turning in homework on time could impress a professor? My adviser stopped being skeptical of me the day I showed up in her office for advising with a color-coded excel spreadsheet documenting my coursework for the next three years. So apparently I like being organized and maybe a perfectionist. 

the reward
I got called into a meeting with my adviser about two months before I was to graduate. Three years had somehow flown by and suddenly I was a second-year senior on the precipice of my student teaching year. I had no clue what she wanted to talk to me about but it didn't take long for my once-biggest-skeptic to spill the news. She along with the other art ed professors had been asked to recommend one student to speak at convocation and they had chosen me. 
The newly appointed speaker-- me--sat speechless on the other side. 
The girl who had been invisible? 
The girl whom her last adviser had not known her name? 
The girl who was originally eyed as being a quitter?

the speech
I sat across from the Dean of my school and laughed at how I got here. Their intention was to schedule several meetings with the Dean in order to help me figure out what to say in my speech. The thing I took away from all those meetings was that I simply needed to write from my heart. 

"The great thing about my major is it gave me, and my fellow classmates, the chance not only to meet so many of you but it also gave us the opportunity to witness the passion you all have for your respective majors. This passion was due, at least in part, to our professors who provided guidance and support. Whether we are aware of it or not, it is the teachers in our lives who have brought us to this place. It was through their insight and challenges that our creative sides were nurtured and strengthened. Personally, my future years as a teacher will be based significantly on the experiences I have shared with my professors."

Graduation was the A+ for my five-year journey. Student teaching though was exam.

1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful pieces. It's a blessing that you're sharing them. Love you bunches. xo