I enjoy being a teacher. I get a lot of joy out of being a popular sub. I am popular largely because of two things...I think. The first item is I can draw. I can draw fairly well, and I give drawings to students freely. The second item is my sense of humor. I am not above verbal jousting. With my years of experience and having a fairly vocal family I feel well prepared. Not to mention my comebacks are often tried and true. It is hard for a kid to come in and say something I have not heard in another classroom. I generally have a witty (or not so witty) comeback ready for employment. Kids apparently don't realize that it's the same thing over and over and I am prepared for them!
I used to draw a lot. I used to doodle while taking notes. I used to draw on my papers, notebooks, and any blank sheet of paper I could locate. I draw more now. Everyday. When I once got a decent drawing one out of five to ten times, I now get a decent drawing almost every time. Especially if we are dealing with things I have drawn over and over. Yet, I have matured as a...drawer. I can now look at something and make a decent drawing the first time without screw-ups.
I employ my drawing in the classroom. Often. Kids used to ask "Are you an artist?" I used to say, "No." They still ask. Now I respond with a yes or, "I guess." I guess it depends on who's asking. If Picasso asked me...Well, I would have to say, "NO! Absolutely not." However, in the eyes of these kids who draw very little, or if they do, with little skill or guidance, well, yeah, I am an artist. I suppose. If you figure an artist is someone who has been paid for artwork...well, I am, and I have, so I guess, yeah.
But I like to think I am a humble artist. I know what I can do, but I try not to make too big a deal about it. It DOES give me no small amount of joy to hear students tell me they put my drawing up in their locker or in their room. I know many of them would love a coloring book, but since I don't sell them to students...well, I usually end up giving them a quick sketch on any available paper. It is amazing and humbling to know that even those small scraps are valued by them so much.
We got an email and sold two coloring books. A mother decided to buy some coloring books because her son had gotten a couple of my drawings and could not believe I had just whipped them out in short order for him. They hang on his bedroom wall. They probably weren't spectacular drawings...I don't make many of them. But the fact that he shared them with his parents and maybe it increased his interest in visual arts...well that's a good feeling.