After I graduated from college and moved back to my hometown, I knew that using my Fine Art degree would be challenging. So, I followed in my mother’s footsteps and became a certified teacher; something I swore I’d never do. That time in my life was like whirlwind. I was 22 years old. I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders to “become something.” I didn’t have a clue to what is was that I was wanted to do or whom I wanted to become. Well, I did know, but that dream was a long way from Texarkana and I knew deep down I needed to be back in my hometown. So, teaching; it’s a honorable career choice and I really thought that I had the potential to become a good educator.
My first teaching job happen to be at the very school I graduated from, Redwater. I was hired to teach 4th through 8th grade art. Note: I didn’t say 4th and 8th grade, but 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th! So everyday I was meet with kiddos ranging from the ages of 9 to 14. At the end of the day I taught the older students and I really looked forward to it. Not that I didn’t love the lower levels. They just had so much energy and I was tired to say the least. 8th graders felt like adults after teaching 4th graders. One of my 8th graders, Joni, was a bright spot in my day. I look forward to seeing her art pieces and discussing them with her. I would talk with her and her friends about the shows they watched, the books they’ve read, and the homework they just didn’t understand while they worked on their art projects. I looked forward to Joni’s class. Those girls had THE BEST Netflix suggestions!
My first year of teaching came and went so quickly. At the end of the year, I decided that I loved teaching the older students so much that I accepted a high school position at another school. Joni volunteered to helped me organized my new room.
Joni and I vowed to keep in touch and we did! Joni along with her family are dear friends of mine. Now a senior, she is #1 in her class. Joni is brilliant, she really, really is. Above all else, she has the most beautiful heart.
Congratulations, Joni! I am so glad you were once my student so that you could become my adopted little sister. 😉