I never thought I’d ____

What a loaded opening to a big statement, right?!

I have been thinking about this statement recently, as there are things that I never thought I’d do, but I have. Life can surprise us sometimes, right?! In the spirit of sharing, I will be creating a series of posts that reveal things that I’ve done that were somewhat unexpected.

Want to join me in doing these “I never thought I’d” posts?  Let me know by commenting on my blog or emailing me at gomamao (at) gmail (dot) com.

Without further ado, here’s my first post:

I never thought I’d be an Art Teacher, but I am for Kindergartners.

The backstory – there is a program that shares art prints monthly with each class in my daughter’s school. When a child attends from kindergarten through fifth grade, they will be exposed to a different art print for each month of their academic career at this school. Along with discussing the work of art, the volunteer “art teacher” leads an art project.

I saw it listed with the PTA volunteer opportunities and kind of dismissed it, thinking, “Hmmm…that’s not for me.” A few weeks into the school year, the 5K teachers spoke at an Open House event, and this same art volunteer opportunity was mentioned again. They didn’t have a volunteer.

I was hesitant, but after asking a few questions, I was becoming convinced that it COULD be for me. My daughter’s teacher and the coordinator of the overall program were so helpful in explaining how it works. I was shown the art supply cabinet and the folder of info with each painting. I like art, right? I’m sort of creative, right? I can do this!

I am happy to report after four months that all is going well as an “Art Teacher” volunteer. I never thought I would volunteer in this way, but I knew I wanted to be involved in my daughter’s class, so it has been a surprisingly good fit. Each month we’ve looked at a variety of paintings, and I’ve managed to come up with a fun art project. Many of these paintings are ones that I’ve never come across before, so I’m learning right along with the kindergartners.

New Works of Art I’ve Discovered

Here are some of the paintings that we’ve discussed:

Carroll Cloar, Where The Southern Cross the Yellow Dog, 1965, Copyright Estate of Carroll Cloar

I really liked Cloar’s work – such beautiful landscapes that tell a story. His biography can be found here.

The Cornell Farm Edward Hicks
The Cornell Farm by Edward Hicks, 1848

More about this painting can be found at the National Gallery of Art.

The Banjo Lesson by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1893

Source: Wikipedia, “Henry Ossawa Tanner – painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner, via http://www.artchive.com/artchive/T/tanner.html. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

Lessons Learned

While I’m not an art expert nor teacher, I’ve certainly gained insight (and a lot of respect for teachers) in a kindergarten classroom.  It has been fun seeing them react to each work of art and tell me what they notice. I am able to share a few art concepts each time that we then try to incorporate into our art projects that day. The excitement and enthusiasm of the kids is contagious. We have fun learning and creating. And it is so neat to see my daughter and get to know her class a bit more.

As one staff member at the school said, kids remember their parents volunteering.  With each hug that my daughter gives me when I’m in her class, I know that this is true. It means a lot to her, and I’m happy to learn and share this time with her!

Comment below and let me know what you’ve never thought you’d do!  Let me know if you want to do a group post on this topic too.