Gonna miss my friend, Mr. Nottage!
This post is long overdue...I want to just take a moment and blog a little about a place that I has been a part of my life for the past four years...that place is Indiantown Middle School. When I was looking for jobs in Florida...it was such a stressful time. John had found out he got into some PhD programs and after talking about it we chose Florida. I ended my school year at Wintergreen and pretty much left for Japan for a month with John's sister and a group of teachers on a Fulbright Study Abroad. We would tour Japan all day, visit shrines, schools...walk, walk, WALK...and then, every night...I would look for jobs.
And then I saw the posting for IMS, and I applied. I was able to schedule the interview while in Japan. I think I was back in the US maybe two days before we headed down to Florida. I interviewed and got the job...and I have been there for the past four years. I taught art, wrote a bunch of grants, coached cheerleading, some good friends...and was even lucky enough to be the Teacher of the Year there...good times indeed.
Probably so much I could say...but instead I just want to post a few panoramic views...so I can take a peek back at my time at IMS when I miss my students and friends..if I ever doubt myself when faced with a new challenge... I will look back at these to remind myself that I made a difference, and I will try to do that wherever I go, regardless of the demographic of the school.
First view...my classroom. A very lively place...with lot's of...well...EVERYTHING.
I think I really found that our when I was leaving because I had to get the entire room packed up and moved across the way into a temporary location. They are going to tear down almost the entire building that I taught in my fours years at IMS...so in addition to packing up my own personal items in the classroom...everything else had to be packed up. And I did it- WE did it. My students not only finished their projects and helped me sort and distribute them to each class, but collectively we boxed up that entire room. I can only hope that it will be a little easier for the new teacher to set up the art room next year...I am so OCD I couldn't just box it up...I had to do color-coded labels..sigh. Life would be easier if I wasn't so set on organization!
And then...of course...the art. We made SO MUCH ART. Seriously. I covered any wall that the tape would stick to. They thing that was unique to IMS was the amount of space that I had, especially the past couple of years. We opened up a new building which left the old cafeteria open for...art. It became a gigantic gallery, we even used it for creating/storing sculpture. Then, when they moved even more teachers tot he new spaces I had a room for 'resources' (basically, recycled materials)...a room for cheerleading...and a room I set up just for drawing and printmaking. I definitely had space...and we filled it with art and art-making.
And now...well, now I am looking to the future. My future includes moving farther south and leaving the public school system to teach private school. I will be teaching digital photography, drawing, painting and survey classes to middle school and high school students. Nervous? Yeah, a little.
Excited? Alot. (sorry, Mrs. Aldridge, I know that isn't really a word)
Yes, I am. I am so excited I don't know what to do!
But first...I will just spend some time relaxing and enjoying my summer...but I will always have my memories of IMS to take with me wherever I go.
Artist and Art Teacher