I needed to do this- for me.
We have all made so many adjustments since the start of this pandemic, and working from home is part of a story we all know too well. My angle on the story is that of a teacher, and of an artist, 'cause that is what I know.
Last March when this all began I was thrown into the world of remote learning- just like everyone else. I had no idea where to start. It was stressful. Sure, it was fun wearing yoga pants for months...but like my waistline, I do better with a little structure.
When I am stressed I like to clean and organize. I thrive on giving myself a 'project' that I can throw myself into. Well, last March that project was redoing my studio back in Florida to accommodate this new remote learning platform- and to create a space to record material and do my zooms that would still feel like a 'classroom' space for my students. So I took everything out and rearranged it to create some work areas for myself. What I didn't know is that is how I would end that school year.
But first, here is that space. I miss it for sure, so much natural light! It wasn't a large room but it was perfect for what I needed it for;
...and it wasn't limited to my studio- I literally brought home EVERY SINGLE AP 3D fashion pieces and AP 2D works that I could because I just had a feeling that we wouldn't be going back- and I was right. So- this became a home gym/art storage while I met with students to deliver their work and supplies so they could finish their portfolios- and it paid off! We had great scores, some 4's and a 5!
And that is how I finished out the year, just like everyone- teaching/learning from home via the interwebs. Not really knowing what I was doing, but doing it enthusiastically and trying to make it fun. Just trying to do my best.
And then, in the middle of all of this madness- John and I moved. Yup, during a pandemic. We uprooted ourselves. I found myself not only teaching in another state- but teaching elementary after teaching HS and MS for the past eleven years in Florida AND...still in pandemic mode so REMOTE.
Once again, I set up my studio space to accommodate my remote classroom needs. There is a whole blog post about it, and you should see what this room looked like when we got here-seriously, major makeover!
But after going at this for almost a year...after teaching fully remote in Florida from March 'til the end of the year, and then 'til October here in NC...then teaching face to face and virtual....half capacity, remote days on Wednesdays...now back five days a week, full capacity but also having remote students too...
One day I just reached my breaking point. I needed to separate my personal studio from ANY hint of a classroom. I needed to reclaim my creative space.
So I did.
And it may not seem like I made a ton of changes, but I made enough to make it mine again. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching, my students are fab- but I needed to come HOME again- not to feel like I never left work.
I finished this project up over the weekend and every time I go in that room I feel like it is 100% mine again, I don't have to share the space, I don't have to think about work. I am home.
Artist and Art Teacher