Teaching is art.
Not because art is taught in the classroom. Not because students are all blank canvases. Not because teachers are high in the sky about their calling.
Because teaching is creative. It’s motivational. Education grips the minds of those who experience it and transforms them.
Sit down in an art gallery with someone who inherently understands form, shape, line, color, contrast, hue, shade, and so much more about what goes into a single painting. They will rattle your ear off about each individual brush stroke the artist used to convey the feeling, emotion, timing, and elusiveness in that paining.
Now ask a teacher about why they teach. Ask them about why on earth they spend four hours on a Friday night cutting out tiny little heart shaped pieces of paper for their ten little third graders.
Its the art of it. They care about each tiny little brush stroke of an experience that those kids have. Each glance. Each sentence. Each picture book read. Each lap run. All brush strokes on those students.
Because those students are blank canvases.
But every canvas comes from somewhere.
Each canvas is formed out of the finest materials, and is unique.
Canvas is stretched, beaten, and formed until it is ready to become a work of art.
It is then the teachers job to take those canvases and create the art. To go about education in a way that is inspiring to the student that doesn’t want to be inspired. To show color to the student that has only seen the blackness of a dark family life. To show structure to a child who’s life is spiraling out of control inside their mind.
Teachers are artists.
Each and every one of them.
It doesn’t matter what they paint, draw, shape, form, sculpt, or create.
They are artists.
Artists make you feel things you never thought you could feel. Artists take you on the journey of those lost in battle, or high to the mountaintops, or to the darkest of lows. Artists give you a gift every time you glance upon their work. The gift of something you never even knew you needed.
This odd thing happens over the first couple years of a child’s educaiton. They start out loving going to school, and then all of a sudden they don’t like that one boy, the one girl said something mean, the teacher is dumb, the hallway smells weird and now they’re faking sick just to avoid the very thing they used to love as a little kindergartener.
But out comes the artist who paints a new picture of what education is. Who shows students that they are capable of painting their own incredible images, and that each and everyone of those images is just fine where they are. Sure there is always room to grow, but students pushing themselves is all the teacher wants to see.
Teachers give and give and give away their art, never asking for anything in return, except the hope that children will remember just a brief moment of what they felt as they experienced the art.
And then someday the teacher receives a letter, a phone call, or a surprise visit.
On the other line is someone who always seems to never care about what art hung in the gallery. Who never wanted to see in color. Black and white was just fine.
But now they recall every beautiful brushstroke. Every wonderful color the teacher showed them.
Remembering the art is all a teacher can ask for. Remember what experiencing the art gallery felt like. And then go share that experience. Tell everyone about the beautiful art. Show it off to the world. Become an artist greater than a teacher could have ever imagined.
They just want to see you grow.
Teaching is art.