The joy of teaching ART
I haven’t posted a BLOG for many months. My last post was from early 2016. Since April, I have been going through an interesting phase where my necessity to create cease (for the time being) and this necessity to create turn into a necessity to give. This past summer, I was hired to lead short art workshops to around 120 children at the JCC summer camp. In the past, when I taught art to children, I was mainly concern of the end product that children would take home. This summer, I decided to focus on the process, build relationships and a positive experience for the children. The task to teach 120 children didn't sound easy especially taking in account that I would be seeing children from age 4 to 13, boys and girls. Usually the budget for summer camps is tight and time to create is short. But, the atmosphere during summer camps is an atmosphere of fun, ease and joy.
This summer, I planned projects that children would engage and relate easily and would feel excited to do. I consciously decided to pass on my love for art making and I can happily say that I succeeded!
Each class, I witnessed 20-30 children, sitting down and working enthusiastically in their projects. More than one time, the counsellors and I had to rush them out of the room because a new group was coming to see me! I especially enjoyed seeing all these boys creating clay pictures and affirmations’ canvasses to take home. I believe that children benefited from seeing the passion and joy an artist feels while creating. It was probably contagious, inspiring and powerful.
The amount of joy I felt and the relationships I built with the children through this past summer experience stayed imprinted in my heart and changed the way I approach teaching Art forever. Nowadays, I run into children that recognize me from the last summer and tell me that they know me from the art classes at camp. Usually, these encounters make my day!
I am currently teaching an after school Mixed Media Art program at a local school in Vancouver to 15 children age 5 to 10. The children and I are having a great time!