Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Last summer, I took a job at Memphis Street Academy Charter School, once again teaching art full-time. I feel blessed for this opportunity. Memphis Street Academy is a turnaround school in the Port Richmond section of Philly. Previously, it was known as John Paul Jones Middle School.
Every day is a challenge, no question - for students especially. However, for every challenge there are at least a dozen victories. I am amazed at the obstacles our students are overcoming, the growth they are experiencing. They amaze me. The progress I am seeing between September and January is incredible. I am watching middle school students understand and comprehend color theory, ghost line drawing, and even the fundamentals of two-dimensional design - art projects they have never before been exposed to. Students understand how math and reading weave into the visual arts. They are so smart and capable.
I have some amazing co-teachers. But the real stars are these kids. Since September, our students have had art shows with local famous painters, gone on a sketchbook scavenger hunt in town, participated in Philly Photo Day, made handmade holiday cards for the local crisis center, fired pottery for the first time, embarked on an advanced art portfolio workshop and many other artistic adventures.
I am proud to say that I love my job and consider it a privilege to walk into that school every day. Any artist who has ever taught art (and meant it) knows that you learn as much as you teach while teaching. These kids, like all my awesome students over the years, are changing me for the better - making me a better artist, a better teacher, and a better person. As I was pulling out of the parking lot tonight, I was wondering what will happen tomorrow. I love being a part of this. I can't help but to feel like I am part of something important and meaningful, something much bigger than myself. Like I said, I feel blessed.
To read more about what our students are up to at Memphis Street Academy Charter School, PLEASE CLICK HERE.