Is it really just around the corner?

I woke up this morning and reached over to grab an embroidery piece I’m working on. It’s for my father and his new wife in their new home. As I’m working on my backstitch, I remember that I learned this in a classroom. I dyed the fabric I’m stitching on. I own 8 embroidery hoops.

My living room has two containers of yarn and knitting needles. The wash rag by my sink is stained from paint. My desk top is completely collaged. I have prints framed in my living room. How beautiful is my life?

Next semester I begin student teaching. These next two months will be my last months in a classroom that will not be partially my own… The last time saying, “oh, I have an 8 am” or “I’m just so ready for this crit to be done so I can breathe again.” My last time wandering the Dodd as a student. The last time I will just be “Kaitlynn” when I am in the school. What is my life?

Is the next step really so close to me? I can finally see the stairs and I am beside myself with excitement. I’ll miss UGA and everything it has given me, but words could never share how ready I am to have students of my own; to change lives and be changed, to make art because I want to, to have students that share their lives with me, or even just one who will. I am so ready to make my life into creative material…

Some fine art majors scoff at art education as a program… Some belittle it or believe it to be meaningless. I giggle. My major is incredible. I learn about myself every single day sitting in these classes. I get to CHOOSE what studios I take, what my emphasis is, what grades I want to teach, what is important to me and what is not. Not only that, everything I learn is intended to be passed along to fresh minds. I get to share everything I know and I want to. Sure, we discuss professional dress and the standards and what we should and shouldn’t say. We also learn how others learn so that we may flex and accommodate all of our students. We talk about what is worthy of art making (which just so happens to be every detail in your life), we discuss why we are passionate and what we care most about, the actual innocence level of children, writing curriculum as a creative act, not as a chore, appropriating standards so they may become helpful tools instead of chains which we are locked to. Why we matter…

Am I shaking in my shoes at the thought of teaching? Of course. But my fear never outweighs the time I have waited, the struggle I have endured, the fire in my heart that fuels the want for this next timeframe in my life.

To my students I have not yet met: I love you already. You bring out amazing things in me — thoughts I did not know I was capable of creating. I want to change your life in some small way and I know you will change mine.

“Be who you were created to be and you will set the world on fire.
St. Catherine of Sienna

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