2016: The year I qualified as a High School Art Teacher

Teaching is a profession, a gift, a calling and a talent that is not for the faint hearted; it requires all of one’s focus, creative energy, stamina and intellect, as I found out along with the rest of the 2016 graduating ECU class of Diploma of Education students.

Majoring in Art and minoring in English, I felt thrown into the deep end of academia, exposed to frightful words such as “resilience”, “transitions”, “rubrics”, “Summative and Formative assessment”, ” zone of proximal development”, “constructivism” and various theories of education developed by the likes of Piaget and Vygotsky.

Alas, with copious amounts of coffees snuck in to the Elab, 3000words essays were written, philosophies of Teaching were developed, presentations on teaching standards were delivered, some with great gusto and in total, three Teaching Practices were completed.

I had the privilege of teaching at Belmont City College and MIrrabooka Senior High School, working alongside some of WA’s best educators. With every lesson, requiring lesson plans, mentor feedback and a personal reflection, the administrative, planning and scheduling aspect of teaching became a habitual skill, resulting in overflowing level arch files full of teaching resources and concepts for future lessons.

With so many processes, strategies and fresh development of skills filling our minds, particularly class room management, every day required complete devotion to the craft and profession in order to develop the necessary understanding of what makes a good teacher and how to apply it practically. One does not just become brilliant due to natural talent, it is one of the most multi-faceted tasks I believe I will ever undertake.

As the course drew near its finality, I found myself truly being “won over” by the students themselves, an irony as we are taught to “win over” the students at all costs to maintain their engagement in our lessons.

When a student questioned me, “Miss, why did you become a teacher?” I found myself saying this: “When I am an artist, my world is about my creativity, what I can produce, my ideas and innovation. But when I teach, it suddenly becomes about the student and their creativity which is fascinating, inspiring and rewarding all in one breathe.” This stands to be my experience with teaching, not only am I able to inspire learning and the development of skills in others, but their creativity impacts and extends my own creativity which is one of the greatest phenomenons.

That is why I chose to study Art Teaching; I believe in the power of Creativity and each student has an inbuilt, unique and particular expression of creativity that as an educator, I get to help them unravel and discover.

I may just have the best job in the world 🙂 Being a creative and a teacher of creativity.

To all my fellow graduates for 2016, all the best, we survived one of the hardest years of our life! Wishing you all the best with your future careers.

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