I'm Kelsey. I'm about to be an art teacher. I've always been a teacher and I've always been an artist but I've never been an art teacher. This will be a really new experience for me. I hope I'm prepared. I'm finishing up grad school right now, getting my masters in secondary education. I have my BFA in graphic design. I took an accidental and non-traditional route to get to the point of being an art teacher. I spent a few years trying to figure out where my passions really were and how to combine them. I'm beyond ecstatic to start teaching, especially at the elementary level. I thought I wanted to teach high school at first. High schoolers have attitudes but they are also really talented. Then I was placed in a middle school classroom for observations and I fell in love with middle schoolers. They were more talented than I'd ever imagined but not quite as sassy yet. I applied for a job at a middle school. I left the interview feeling odd. It should have been a dream job. It was four minutes from my house and it was the age group I loved. But I wasn't really excited. I didn't get the job. I wasn't very upset. A few weeks later, I got a call to interview at an elementary school 45 minutes away from my house. I decided to go. Every interview is more experience.
After I got the interview set up, I called my mom. I told her I was glad to get an interview but that elementary schools are my least favorite. I don't like the setup of only seeing kids once a week and having 25 different classes a week. Once I got off the phone, I sat and thought about the job for a little while. And then suddenly, I remembered that elementary kids are my favorite kids in the whole wide world. I've been working with elementary-aged kids at my church since I was in middle school. I've spent the past five summers working at the same daycare (and it was a real struggle not to go back this year, I'll be honest). Elementary kids are the best. Yes, the structure isn't ideal, but I stopped focusing on that once I realized how much time I would be able to spend with my favorite kids.
|Here's me with some African kids so you don't get bored from all this text.|
So I went to the interview excited about the possibility of teaching there. I knew it was a long shot. I don't actually have my masters yet or even a teaching license. I could get a provisional license if I got a job but a lot of schools are hesitant. I've never even done student teaching, for crying out loud. But it didn't matter. I connected with my interviewers and fell in love with the school. I left the interview feeling more excited and confident than ever. I got a call from the principal that very night. She said I was the top choice of the interview committee and that she would love to meet with me. Long story short (just kidding, this has been really long), I'm now the K-4 art teacher at a visual and performing arts magnet elementary school. Well I will be on August 12th, when my contract starts.
I guess I just want to keep this blog as a way of talking myself through the dreaded first year of teaching. Maybe some other teacher will find it in a few years and know that there is hope. From what I understand, if you can make it through your first year of teaching, you can make it through anything. I'll let you know if that's true here in a few years.
Anyway, if you're reading this, be prepared for some posts this summer about lesson plans and supply lists. Once school starts, I don't know what I'll post. Maybe some completed lessons. Maybe just whiney posts about how hard teaching is. Hopefully some classroom management tips. If you're an experienced teacher with some tips, a first year teacher like me, or you're still a student, shoot me an email. Comment on this post. Tweet me on twitter. Follow me on Pinterest. Just connect. Let me connect back. Let's do this together and learn from each other.