The Extinguisher

 Photo by Melody Weintraub

Photo by Melody Weintraub

There it sits in the corner of the art room. Hopefully you have never had to use it, but it’s there in the event of an emergency. The fire extinguisher can serve as a reminder to you today that we never want to extinguish the inspirational fire that we have ignited with our students. It is much too difficult to get that burning desire for making art to light again and far too easy to extinguish it forever by our words, our actions and attitudes. Sometimes we allow our own discouragement to wind its creepy way into how we respond to students. It’s not their fault that our evaluation didn’t go so well, or that our student loan is still not paid, or that our supply budget was cut or that we came to school unprepared. It’s also easy to let others drench the flame that we once had for teaching art in the first place. Remember during your first year teaching how you loved seeing the wonder of imagination in the eyes of those students? Remember how you decided that you’d rather make a difference in the lives of children than have that desk job? Remember how your middle school teacher seemed to understand you when no one else cared? Remember how that high school art teacher inspired you to become one yourself? Remember how that was going to change the world? Well, world-changer whatever you are doing now as you are reading this, I can book that somewhere there is an inspired art student who is going to change the way the world thinks about art. All you have to do now is fan the flame!