As a 41 year old woman it’s sad to see so many of the musicians I grew up with leaving this world. Michael, Whitney, Prince and now George Michael. I was just thinking about him and wondering if he had any new music out. With our changing world and his passing I thought that this song was appropriate. RIP George Michael.
I confess that during my first week as a teacher back in October, one of the AP’s came to me and asked me if I could make a new spirit stick for the school. Let me say at the time, I was new, I was fighting a cold and I had never made a spirit stick before in my life. In my head, I was thinking is this a test.
At the same time I was trying to make a paper mache example for class but I pulled myself together and with my husband’s help I was able to create a paper mache school mascot (the Harrier), paint and decorate a spirit stick. Using cardboard, newspaper and an enlarged image of our mascot, I created the main part of the spirit stick. I used Mod Podge on the newspaper which I find easier than having to mix water and glue. Luck would have it that my husband had ordered a bolt of fabric so I was able to snag the cardboard roll inside it. I put the roll inside the paper mache Harrier, secured and broke out the blue spray paint.
Of course, the really tedious work was painting the actual face on the mascot. After everything dried, I attached the letters and used some fabric strips that I had and I also attached little bells to some of the fabric strips. The result was fantastic and now everyday when I walk by the office I see my first contribution as a new teacher!
I know that some people maintain several blogs but that’s not my style. The We Are F.A.S.H.I.O.N. blog has always been about creativity and design and I think that with my new position as a Visual Art teacher is something that I can share here on this blog as well.
This is a new journey for me. I’m learning what to do and what not to do, what lessons work and what lessons don’t work, about classroom management in the art room, art supplies and all the great things about art education and art advocacy.
As I’ve maintained, I’m a little bit of everything and so is this blog. I can’t separate my art teacher side from my mom side from my business side. They are all what makes me, ME!
Here I’ll share lessons plans, printables, handouts, tips and techniques and everything great about educating children about art.
I confess that I started another blog but I never got to the point of customizing it. Ever since I got my teaching position I haven’t posted to this blog. So I’m not sure why I thought I could maintain two blogs. Anyway I decided to keep my focus right here at We Are Fashion because here We Are..Artists too.
In October, after a year and a half of classes, I unexpectedly got offered an art teaching position at the exact school that I had been hoping and praying for. No doubt in my mind that God orchestrated it all. My first day on the job I felt like I was home. Like I belonged there all the time.
This past year the school was renovated and I even got the brand new art room. Tons of natural light and space. Check it out.
I can’t even explain how amazing it feels to be living in my passion everyday. I confess even on days when the kids are less than stellar, I still love it. I’m creating and I’m influencing the lives of kids that really need it. The first day I took off and had a sub in my room I felt so bad. I missed my kids. My kids all of them. I’ve had so much to learn. Reports cards, SLO, interim grades, observations. The first week I made a new spirit stick for the school and participated in my first middle school dance as a staff member. Many years ago, I danced in that very same place when I attended the very school I teach at now. I even work with some of the teachers that taught me. It’s so cool. Everyday is the same, yet everyday is different. As the kids become more comfortable with me, they’ve now started showing up during homeroom and recess to work on their projects. And I stay late everyday because I want to. I could not say that 2 months ago. I can’t wait to share my lessons, tips and experiences and confessions here and on Twitter and Instagram.
Update: Whew!! So much has happened in a short amount of time. I thought that I was leaving my job in September but that didn’t happen. I started planning my subscription box service and working on some classes. Then within a month, I had a new job. An ART TEACHER position had opened up (God did it) and I was hired. When I initially drafted this post I thought that I was leaving in September and then I changed it to next September but here I am posting it. I’m two weeks into being an art teacher and I feel really good. I don’t miss my old life at all.
Of course, I’ve had to play catch up and I’m now taking three classes instead of two. I’ve also had to postpone the release of my subscription box service for a few months. I need to get the grasp of teaching and get past these classes. All that said I apologize for length of this post. Two weeks ago I ended a 40+ year relationship with the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Everything started for me at Happy Days Preschool (now the CDC) the base preschool. I went on to attend Frank Knox Elementary School (now DOD offices and classrooms) for Kindergarten and 5th grade. I learned to read in that building.
I was taught by my mom who was a teacher there for many years until they closed the school. I roller skated down the hallways and in cafeteria, played Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego in the library, and enjoyed the school carnival, science fairs and school performances in the gym. I made friends at Happy Days and Frank Knox that I still have today. I remember every nook and cranny of that building. My Kindergarten room is now the pass office and every time I go in there I’m reminded of how my mom’s room was right down the hall, the wood paneling walls, the cardboard dress up people (you know the kind that you stick your face and hands through), and of the little courtyard where we played recess. We had a garden plot over by the laundry that both my aunt and uncle worked at. We shopped at the Commissary (now a grove of remembrance trees) and the Exchange (now an office building), played in the gym, and swam at the base pool. I saw my first rated R movie (Stripes) with my unsuspecting mom and during Christmas we would shop at the huge warehouse they called TOYLAND!
As I got older, the gym was the place to go and watch all the boys playing basketball or where I would pretend to get my workout on while watching the boys play basketball. One of my closet friends lived on the base and we shared many a sleep over giggling about New Kids on the Block and talking about boys. We had our proms at the Officer’s Club and Project Graduation at the Drill Hall. We’d go to the beach on the Chesapeake (water you couldn’t pay me to go in now) and there was that one time Crystal and I went canoeing. My boyfriend junior year lived on the base and I remember having dinner on his parents boat at the marina. When I came home from college on visits, we would go to the club on the base. The base club years were the BEST, 18 to get in. I didn’t need to drink, I just needed to dance. Everything was good until my ID expired.
Oh the memories. People, places, events to numerous to name them all. I didn’t come on this base again until I was hired in 2003, as a clothing engineer for Human Systems. Just coming off the best experience of my life (design school), I was ready to use my skills to make a difference. Wow, what a journey it has been. I made good friends and saw many of them move on. My eyes were opened up to a world that I never knew existed just over the fence. You see, my childhood home was just across the road from base property. I had my wedding reception at the Beach House and my son had quite a few birthday parties at the same theater I saw Stripes in. Like his mom and dad, he attended the CDC (Happy Days) until it was time for him to start Kindergarten. I’ve seen this base change a lot but I still have my memories. These past 13 years have shaped me into the woman that I am today but I realize that this base has always been a part of my story from the very beginning and as much as I complained I wouldn’t change a thing. There was money and then no money, there was good management and bad management and REALLY BAD MICROMANAGEMENT. I’ll tell you what, my prayer life has certainly strengthened. There were times when stress was a meal that I eat from the minute I sat at my desk until the end of the day. But there were also laughs. I’ll miss some of the people. I know that I’ve been truly blessed. My 13 years there have made me smarter, more confident, more skilled, more accepting, and more knowledgeable and what I’ve learned will only make me better for the next half of my life story.
So now I move on to a new group of people, a new set of challenges, a new mission, I know that I’m equipped to handle anything because I’ve worked in 4.6 and I’ve worked with PMA-202 (look up Jim Jones French Guyana) and I survived with my faith and hope intact. So I say for myself “Fair Winds and Following Seas”.
Ok, I’ve seriously been neglecting my blog. I started a series #30Days30#Notions and by Day 10, I’d already started to slip. I’ve really been working on the launch of the We Are F.A.S.H.I.O.N. Studio-in-a-Box, my side hustle (I’m going to need one once I become a teacher). Contacting bloggers (which is going horribly), posting to Instagram (which is going well, a famous fashion designer with the initials CR liked my idea). After checking out samples and doing some market research, I’ve been contacting vendors and getting my Cratejoy store set up. I got my custom box samples which I’ll use for photo shoots and displays and put in a larger order for the boxes that will actually go out to subscribers. So I’ve been busy.
On top of that I have three classes that I need to finish before December (I want to launch in January) and an assignment due this week that I can’t wrap my mind around. You know I work full-time and I’m a wife and mom. To top that I got a call for a job interview. Like I had basically put the whole art teacher gig on the shelf until after I’d become certified and last week within a few days I got a call for an interview. So now I’m trying to keep myself calm and prepare for an interview that snuck up on me. Excited and nervous.
So here’s a few days worth of #30Days30Notions.