It’s the first day of school. The art room is so clean, one could eat off the floor. The lesson plans and materials are organized and neatly laid out on the front table. The seating charts await the names of this year’s art students. It’s been a long time since this 20-year veteran art teacher has felt excited about returning to school. That’s because this year is different.
For the last few years, I’ve yearned for change. I no longer felt inspired and I longed to feel the excitement I once felt in my first years of teaching. Earlier in the year, when I learned that there was a job opening in one of the local high schools, I took the leap and applied. After all, I’d always wanted to teach high school students. Although the thought of starting over was scary, the excitement of something new outweighed any anxiety. Once I had been offered the job, I eagerly accepted. I excitedly began making lesson plans and I even took personal days to observe other high school art teachers. If I were going to teach high school art, I wanted to be the best I could! I started cleaning and purging my art room, preparing for the big move. As I begin disassembling years of memories, my excitement began to fade. I felt as if I were leaving my family. I hadn’t realized that I would feel so lost…even sad. Teaching elementary art was all I’d ever known.
Two weeks before the end of school, by email no less, I learned that the principal had decided to give the job to someone else. Although shocked, I didn’t feel as bitter as I thought I would have. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you that education isn’t political!) Much to my surprise,after reading the email, I felt a tremendous sense of relief. Apparently, my dream of becoming a high school art teacher just wasn’t meant to be.
So when school started this year, I felt excited. I worked every single workday; not only the mandatory days. I bought cheerful flowers for my room and planned new exciting lessons. For the first time in years, I feel inspired! This year, I know, without any doubt, that I am meant to be an elementary art teacher. I’m looking forward to enriching lots of little lives, and I’m sure my life will be touched by them.I learned a valuable lesson. Never let disappointment get you down. God always has a better plan. You can believe that when he doesn’t give you what you think you want, it’s because there is something better for you. Always keep the faith!
To all of my teacher friends, may you have the best year ever!