Whatever rejections I face in the outside world, may it be a difficulty in finding work or getting people to like my illustrations, the kids make up for it more than enough. For example, the kids always want to be the one who gets to keep my artwork. In their eyes, it was the most beautiful thing. I feel like an art star when they greeted me in the morning. They get so excited to confirm that I would be coming to their classroom that day.
"Raise your right hand if you think Miss Lee is the best art teacher in the world!" A student tried to promote me while everyone was engrossed in the project at hand. He pressed on, "raise your right hand if you think..." We were creating stamps out of modeling clay. It was a really messy project idea. But at the end of the class, I asked one of the stragglers, "how was the art lesson? " To which he replied as a matter-of-factly, "it's always fun." And continued on his way to lunch.
Sometimes I worry that someone would walk though the door and discover that I'm just one of the kids. For example, yesterday, out of convenience, I grabbed a dry erase marker to help a student to add a detail to his artwork.
A girl corrected me, "our teacher said not to use those markers on paper."
"Oops!" I returned the marker quickly.
"Do you want to use a black marker, Miss Lee?" She was being helpful.
"No," Embarrassed, I moved on to the next table group.
God must have known that I'm terrible with class management. Thanks for sending angels in my life. I couldn't have done it each day without the instructional aides and teachers who stay behind to help me out. As an art teacher, I get all the students in all the grades. So God must be wanting to train me to become a stronger disciplinarian. Not only do I have challenging students, I'm also working with difficult media like tempera paint, printmaking, and clay.
At the end of the day, instead of repeating to myself, "I did a bad job, I did a bad job..." I tried to switch over and think, "how could I have done it in a better way."