An Overdue Thanks to My Elementary Art Teacher

My sixth grade art teacher told me to pursue art, but I was more interested in math, science and sports. Sixth grade though was one of my life’s pivotal years; why? At the end of the year a boy received the “Analytical Math” award and I only received a “Math” award. I felt it was indicating a boy was better at thinking through a math problem. I won a math award without the word “analytical”. Hmmm… yet through grades 7 – 9, I had female math teachers. I continued my love of math while truly falling in love with science. Eventually I pursue teaching grades 7 – 9 science! Sports took center stage then in my young life too with basketball and tennis. Art was not anywhere in my head.

At college, I pursued science and sports, but needed two of three electives: theater, music and/or art. I completed the music requirement. After signing up for art I discovered I would need more than $100 worth of supplies. Yikes, I did not have the financial resources to make it happen, so I took theater. I did doodle and sketch at various times in my life… I played Varsity basketball and 4 years of field hockey which was an amazing experience!

Recently though, I remembered my sixth grade art teacher encouraging me to pursue art so many years ago. What is that ….60 years ago … and I am just now getting around to spending art time!?! My pandemic-created activity of birdwatching and bird photography prompted my interest in knowing what a bird looks. Thus my sketching began. Often receiving eBird info from Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, I would see nature journaling, sketching, and watercolor and acrylic painting on-line classes being offered. So I took some of the classes and realized I was able to learn more about my own sketching and painting ability. 

I am unsure how long I will continue with my art work, but at this time I really hope to at least express my gratitude for the art teacher who did make a statement, so many years ago, for me to pursue art. As a retired educator, I know those statements from teacher to student are powerful. No doubt this art teacher said the same to others and they did indeed follow their art in a more timely manner than me …  yet that is the power of a teacher’s influence! So thank you to my sixth grade art teacher! Thank you to all educators encouraging others to do their best and/or to try new activities … those nudges can make huge differences in ones life.

Have you nudged anyone recently? It need not only be a school teacher as we are all teachers one way or another! So nudge someone you think could benefit from a nudge!

My sketch of an ovenbird as seen in a magazine.

2 thoughts on “An Overdue Thanks to My Elementary Art Teacher

    1. As I wrote this post, I was sure we do not thank enough of our teachers till too late. Thank you to you, and all other educators, for the hard work put into teaching, guiding and loving our students through the years, even when days can be so tough!

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