posted in: Art, Teaching | 0

I admit to investing in individual stocks. More shocking I do it on my own, buying what I like. I bought Martha Stewart and I wish I bought more. I bought low and she has performed well for me, more than doubling my tiny investment. I always wanted to be Martha Stewart. She is just so darn creative and has a sense of design and beauty that I would love to possess. But I am not going to quit my day job to become a broker or a Martha Stewart wanna be.

But what I do on the side and for which I plan someday in retirement to quit my day job for, is to teach art. I learned this week that teaching art is an investment. I just never saw it that way. Transitioning from summer to fall my class attendance shifts, students come and students go. It is painful for me. It was in the midst of some of those emotions this week I realized in teaching I invest myself. I see improvement in student’s work and I realize somehow I am able to teach and my students are able to learn. In the middle of that I make friends. Then in a season of transition they leave. How fleeting is the time I get to spend with them. I realized I plan long term and maybe I need to rethink that in terms of a season knowing that my time with a student is limited. I want to make the most of it.

I have had Lauren in my class, not her real name, for over a year. I ask permission to post my students art when they sign up for class. I never use real names. I photograph student’s art as they finish it each week. Lauren is 13 and excellent in her execution of her art. She is quiet like most of my students. She reminds me of a younger version of myself and from that vantage point I am able to teach and encourage. Words are powerful. Encouraging words are what enabled me to build confidence in my art and continue over a lifetime. God created artists differently than other people. I like to help my students realize the wonder of that, being connected to the Creator of the Universe through the process of creativity.

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