Tag Archives: teaching

MA TESOL (part 1)

I am getting my Masters Degree.

This statement is still slightly hilarious to me as it was never part of my ‘future plan’.  Though, I’m not entirely sure that I ever even had a ‘future plan’…

My undergraduate degree is in Studio Arts–specifically, oil painting.  As I was working on that degree, my family endlessly encouraged me to get a teachers license along with the art degree.  For some reason, unbeknownst my young self, my family did not believe that an art degree would be sufficient in the paying of my future bills and expenses.

With the idealistic stubbornness of a millennial artist, I ignored them.  Art was the passion of my heart and getting a teaching degree along with my art degree would undermine my integrity as an artist.

I graduated university in 2009 and worked as a barista at a local coffee shop, perfectly living out the starving artist persona.

And then I moved to Thailand.

Thailand shock things up for me.  It’s hard to keep up a persona when you can’t work, can’t speak a language and no one even knows what persona you’re trying to present yourself as.  It took me a little while (maybe a long while…) to get my bearings down and figure out what living in Thailand looked like.

About six months into my stay in the Land of Smiles, the school that Caleb was teaching at needed a new first grade English teacher.  I knew of the need and heard the concern, but not once (let me stress, not even one time,) did it enter into my mind that I could be the solution to the need.

One morning, as I was on my way to Thai class, I very clearly heard the Lord say:

“It’s time for you to consider your role at the School of Promise.”

This was so out of the blue and so far from my concerns that I just kind of brushed it off and didn’t give it any further thought.

That evening, as our family was eating dinner together, Caleb looked at me and asked, “Samara, would you consider being the first grade English teacher at School of Promise next year?”

Well, that through me for a loop.

As a team we had never talked about me teaching. My lack of experience/training/desire was clear.  Under normal circumstances I would have said “no” without even blinking an eye–but my morning walk flashed back into my psyche and the word consider seemed specific…

So, I considered it.  And, eventually, despite myself, I said, ‘yes’.


Turns out I kind of loved being a teacher.  I enjoyed being in the classroom.  I enjoyed investing in those kids–getting to know their personalities and planning activities to not only develop their English abilities, but to also develop their cognitive and social skills.  And, on top of it all, I was given the opportunity to introduce my classroom to the Wonderful Nature of the Good, Good Father.


I worked as the first grade teacher at School of Promise for two years until difficult circumstances made it clear that my time was up.  While the decision was evident, the choice was difficult.  Leaving the school meant leaving the kids I had been investing in and the role of teacher that I had grown to love.

But, of course, as one door shuts another one opens and this was most definitely the case for me.

In Thailand, you have a two year grace period in which you can work as an English teacher without a teaching license.  In my second year of teaching I went through the process of getting my Thai teaching license, but after lots of dollars spent and days wasted, I was declined the license due to my degree being in Art. Many foreigners avoid this predicament by switching schools every two years and thusly restarting their grace period, but this was not appealing to me.  My desire is to be rooted in one place and build relationships–not to move around and start over every two years.

This is where the opportunity to get my Masters Degree presented itself.  Caleb, being the wizard of the internet that he is, found a program at a Thai University offering an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) that is accredited in the US and from start to finish would cost around $5000.

Through a process of praying and communication with friends and mentors, I decided to go through the application process and was quickly accepted into the program.

So, here I am–11 years after beginning my bachelors degree in Art, I have come full circle and am finally taking my family’s advice and getting a teaching degree… like a practical adult.

 

 

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Art Classes with Jackfruit

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This is Kanoon. (ขนุน: Jackfruit)

He likes to smile, a lot.

Kanoon and I have been on a journey together since day one of Sunshine Studios.

Kanoon is a very capable artist and according to his mother (whom I’ve had many meetings with) really enjoys coming to Sunshine Studios.  He is one of the first students to be signed up for any program or class that I offer.  His mom has even started worrying about what is going to happen when Kanoon (a 5th grader) goes on to middle school as I do not offer classes to that age group.

However, in class, Kanoon doesn’t really give me the impression that he wants to be there at all.  He is one of the only students that I have ever had blatantly refuse to do a project and has very frequently given up on a project before he finishes.

I have talked to his mom about this, really questioning her choice to have him in the art classes if he’s not interested.  I’ve explained that he’s often tired after school and if he’s not willing to do the projects he just sits for two hours doing nothing.  But, she insists and Kanoon continues coming.

After about three weeks of butting heads with this particular student, I decided I needed to take a different approach.

I had noticed that Kanoon would work on a project until it’s almost done and at that point he would quit.  I would try and push him to finish, but wasn’t getting any results and then, when his mom would come pick him up, she would look at his project and express disappointment in him.

Something needed to change.  As I can’t change his mother, nor was I affectively changing Kanoon, I decided that it has to be me that changes.  I would have to fight my urge to get annoyed with this kid and instead become his ally.

Instead of getting frustrated with Kanoon when he would tell me that ‘he’s finished’ after just barely beginning, I would encourage him to go take a break, buy a treat, take a walk and then come back and re-start.  This actually shocked him at first, he was so used to my pushing him to keep going that he didn’t really know how to react to my openness to his stopping.

In fact, I started making him take 10 minute breaks and then after his break I would come and sit on the floor next to him and tell him how great of an artist he is.  I would just gush over what he was doing, point out things that are really good and offer him suggestions in his technique.  I started giving him very individualized attention.  I started telling him, ‘Ok, Kanoon, you can finish now and have an ‘ok’ project–or you can keep going, push yourself a little more and have a piece that you will be very proud of.’

Not surprisingly, something started shifting in Kanoon’s behavior.

Number one, he started trusting me.  I was no longer fighting him to perform, but encouraging him to be his best.

Number two, he started finishing his projects.  Be it the breaks or just the idea of having something he was proud of, Kanoon would fill the class time working on his projects, even after his peers had started cleaning up.

And his mom, she started praising his work!  (Maybe not to his face, but to me…)

I suppose none of this should be a surprise, but it was a humbling lesson to me.  I was getting so irritated as this kid.  A kid who I know doesn’t have a steady home and who seemingly doesn’t get any encouragement from his mom.  I was getting irritated by someone who desperately needed praise.

The power of words.  The power of biting your tongue and working in the opposite spirit.  Instead of rejecting the student who is rejecting my lessons, I chose to befriend him.  Instead of fighting his complaints and getting mad, I gave him options.

Kanoon and I have come a long way in our relationship; neither of us are the people we were at the beginning of the term.  My only regret is that I played into the irritation as long as I did.

Here is Kanoon with his acrylic painting.

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This project was hard for everyone, so many new skills being taught at once.   But, Kanoon pushed through. We worked on this for three whole weeks!  And the result, a smiling Kanoon and an awesome cat painting that he is, and should be, proud of.

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First through Third Grade Self Portraits

Sunshine Studios has been one big learning experience for me.

I have learned that I don’t necessarily know how to teach art.  Certain things, like holding a paint brush, choosing colors that look nice together, knowing how to mix colors, etc. come very naturally to me and I have mistakenly assumed my students would just naturally have these skills.

No.  They don’t.

I have found myself teaching how to hold scissors, how to appropriately use glue, and what you should and should not do with paint.

I have chosen projects that are way too hard and, alternatively, chosen projects that are way too easy and have been left with nothing to do and half the period to fill.

Sunshine Studios has been a learning experience… to say the least.

BUT, it has been a success.

We are wrapping up the first semester of classes, so I’ve been trying to do more exciting projects with a couple more steps to them.

I have done a number of self portraits with the little kids (first-third grade) and have had various success rates.  One of the big problems I have encountered, is that despite my handing out mirrors and us looking and the different shapes in our faces, the students want to draw themselves how they have learned to draw people, not as they actually see themselves.  As I am working with primarily Thai children, I end up with a slew of anime faces that hardly resemble their creator.

I also have a hard time getting these little ones to draw BIG and fill up their paper.

Wanting to address both of these issues and getting inspiration from this blog, I ventured into a two day (two week) project with my little ones.

The first week, we played “Miss Samara says” with a piece of watercolor paper and sharpies.  I would give instructions of what they should draw and they would follow them accordingly.  After about 10 minutes or so, I gave the students watercolors and instructions to fill the whole page with color.  “Miss Samara says there can be no white space.”

Those paintings turned out pretty neat.   Though the students all received the same instructions, each student ended up with a very unique abstract painting.

Despite the begging, I didn’t let the kiddies take the paintings home, as they were part one of our two part project.

While the students were painting their watercolors I took individual, close up portraits and then printed them out on 8×10 paper.

The next week, I gave each student the picture of themselves, a piece of transparency paper and a sharpie.  They placed the transparency over their pictures and I instructed them to trace every line on their face exactly as they see it.

This was actually a little more difficult than I thought it would be.  The students traced the general lines of their head, eyes, ears, nose and mouths, but weren’t paying attention to all the other, smaller and very important lines around these areas.

Students would typically tell me they were ‘finished’ about four times before I actually allowed them to be done–I would just keep pointing out more and more lines that they have left behind.

When I finally allowed the student to be ‘done’, we got their abstract from last week and then the students picked their favorite composition and attached the two projects.

The results were better than I could have even imaged.  I’m jealous of each and every one.

So here you are,

Sunshine Studios 1st-3rd Grade Self Portraits:

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This is Nina, she is in 3rd grade and has told me specifically that she wants to be an artist when she grows up.  She saves up snack money from her parents and pays for art class on her own and asks me every day at school if it’s art class day and has even tried to sneak into the older kids class.

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This is Titi.   He has constantly created some of my favorite pieces.  He, along with Nina, is in third grade and says that he wants to be an artist.  He has a very natural ability about him and is very naturally creative.  I couldn’t help laughing when he took his picture like this.  Oh.. and when this project was finished, he hung up his picture (the one he traced) on the mirror by the bathroom so that we see his face instead of our own.  He has the mark of a true artist.

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Pakboong, one of my favorite first graders.   Pakboong loves to draw and does a very good job.  I have found that Pakboong is a bit of a perfectionist.  She will only take her projects home if she loves them 100%, which means that Sunshine Studios has many of her discarded projects on the walls.  I really liked how her portrait turned out, it’s probably one of my favorites, though it’s hard to choose.  I really LOVE how she placed the portrait inside the shape in the center, making it look like it’s inside a mirror.  Her portrait also oddly resembles on of Frida’s famous portraits.  Way to go Pakboong.  (If only she let me keep this one…)

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Namoo.  Pakboong’s other half.  This kid lives inside of his imagination and what he creates is always interesting.  While I had some questions about whether or not he was really tracing what he was seeing, or just drawing what he wanted, the combination of his two projects looks like something I could see on display.

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This handsome boy, as most of you know, is Geshem.  My roommate and usually a co-collaborator on project ideas.  Geshem really loves to draw.  He draws from his imagination every night and his drawings are getting more and more detailed. He was at first, a student more prone to using his imagination while tracing the picture, but through Miss Samara’s repeated ‘you’re not finished yet’ answers, he was able to start seeing some of the natural lines in his first grade face!  He is also quite the lover of colors.  At one point in his growing up, he would say that his favorite color is the rainbow. This usually comes through in his color choices and in this instance, created, what I think, to be a brilliant piece.

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Finally, we have Hezikiah.  Hez really struggled the day that we were doing the abstract paintings.  He was tired and didn’t want to paint.  I wasn’t sure how his project was going turn out as a result.  The next week when we were tracing our faces, Hez was much more motivated and was one of the students that paid the most attention to detail.  I mean, check out how he handled his curly hair.  I was happily surprised when we put the two projects together, the result was actually quite nice, and like the rest of them, definitely wall worthy.

So there you have it!

First term of Sunshine Studios is almost complete and despite the hiccups and learning curve and lesson fails, I would say, we’re doing pretty well!

Lots of thank you’s to everyone who has made this possible!

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Bored of Education :: Propaganda

In honor of Caleb Lorensen and the beginning of the new school year..

 

::lyrics::

[Verse 1]
Dear Bored of Education
So are we, huh, so are we
At no point in the lives that we actually live do we sit in rows and listen to pontifications
At no point did momma pass written exams out on how to wash the dishes, no
She pulled the stool up next to her, at the sink, handed us a dishrag, like
“Watch how mommy does it, now you try.”
Learning by doing, such a crazy idea, it might work
Them stools felt like a magical ladders into an alter universe
Into the grown-up world
Informational portholes, wormholes, into other places
Where kids were equals, being made privy to information only those with
Driver’s licenses and facial hair had
Who knew we were learning, no clue Pops was teaching us time management
And budgeting, miniature project coordinators
He said, “Imma show you how to do these chores. And if they’re done when I get home
Then that allowance is yours. Maybe some ice cream’s involved too.”
Remember when we were in kindergarten, and you had to learn about worms, yeah, you went outside
And you played with worms, what a [novel] idea!
Dear Bored of Education!, huh, so are we

[Verse 2]
Dear Bored of Education, all I’ve learned from your system is that it’s just the system
That you set up. And if I just repeat what you just said, in James Schafer method
Then I passed, right? You’re just testing my ability to regurgitate
And if your best instructors are miserable, I’m pretty sure it’s not the kids’ fault
This pain I know first hand, the grand learning moments, the innovative lesson plans
That causes eyes to sparkle as if them students have just caught rides on shooting stars
These lessons have wings, only to get clipped, to fit, into the Low-Res JPEG. you call
“The State Standards.” Why do you insist this is still the industrial age?
My child is not a widget. And a school should not be an assembly line. Making my daughter’s
Diploma equivalent to an inspected by 2235 stamp
Dear Bored of Education, so are we

[Verse 3]
Dear Bored of Education, there’s not a Scantron on the planet that can measure inspiration
This is what our teachers pass on that matters
But you’d rather them do a jig to the tune of an AYP score
As to avoid losing WASC right?
NCLB got us shockin’ and jivin’, but you can’t measure a kid inviting their
Teacher to a Quincenera or a soccer game, or waiting rooms at free clinics
I can name ten kids off hand who would still be in handcuffs if it wasn’t for Mr. Singer
Nick Luvanno runs his own design firm. And he failed the exit exams twice. FAILED
Dear Board of Education, I mean, can we not Google when the Magna Carta was signed?
If your brightest stars are always dim, something must be wrong with your glasses
If every place on your body that you touch hurts, then your fingers must be broken
You are PhD.’s, you have five suffixes at the end of your names, you’re the people that know
A lot, how come you’re not smart enough to know that you don’t know what you don’t know?
Did anyone ever suggest, that maybe, we should test the test?
Dear Bored of Education, my dear Bored of Education, so are we
So are we

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04/05/2014 · 17:45

#teacherfail

Sometimes, as a teacher, I just fail.

 

Well, the reality is that sometimes I just fail period… but it’s amplified while I’m teaching because I have a constant crowd of witnesses.

 

Introducing, **BRAIN SPRAY**

(imagine a bunch of tingling chimes playing as you say **BRAIN SPRAY**)

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**BRAIN SPRAY** is a magical concoction made of coconut oil, water and sprinkles.  **BRAIN SPRAY** has been specially formulated to help decrease student stress while taking tests and thus helping them to preform better.  Results are guaranteed.

I have been using this **BRAIN SPRAY** on my students whenever we have a big test, which, unfortunately, is much more frequent than it should be for first graders.

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Well, the last week of school should be a time of fun and games, but at the School of Promise we have to take finals.

In e v e r y  s i n g l e subject.  Finals.

So, out comes the **BRAIN SPRAY**.

The kids know the drill and actually quite like getting sprayed by the magical concoction.  So, they line up, cover their eyes and let me spray their faces.

However, this particular day–my last teaching day of the year–things didn’t quite go as planned.  This time, instead of growing in confidence and wisdom, my students started falling on the floor, gagging.

I watched as the first couple students react like this, but thought they were being weird and dramatic so I just ignored them and proceeded to spray the entire.rest.of.the.class.

Soon I noticed all of my students on the floor, not just the dramatic ones and decide that something must be askew.

So, not thinking, I took a big whiff of the once aromatic **BRAIN SPRAY** and preceded to pass out myself.  {{Not really…but, if I had less body mass that probably would have been the effect.}}

 

Turns out that after about a year in the classroom, my bottle of **BRAIN SPRAY** turned rank.

I mean rank.  pungent.  fetid.  reeking.  noxious.

My **BRAIN SPRAY** was stankin’!

And I sprayed that rank, pungent, fetid, reeking, noxious, stankin’ **BRAIN SPRAY** on each of my students faces.

 

Once they arose from their odor induced coma, these were the kinds of faces I was greeted with:

 

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Goodbye sweet, sweet students.

Miss Samara loves you!

xox

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10/04/2014 · 23:15

V is for…

My main goal in teaching ESL to first graders is to make learning fun.  I set the precedent for what language learning can be like for the rest of their educational career; I have the ability to shape the way these students see the English language.  It’s not all drudgery and grammar and pronunciation… no, no, learning English is an exciting adventure!

My class and I are making our way through the English alphabet.  I intend on the students knowing all 26 letters and their simple sounds by the end of the year.  

I am not, however, going through the alphabet in the tradition A-Z fashion, but instead in an order that gives the most simple and most common letters and sounds first–thus paving the way for reading simple words early on. 

We are 15 letters in. 

I teach class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I typically introduce a new letter on Tuesday and then we spend some time practicing the sounds, writing the letter out, doing flash cards and playing a few games to help with sound recognition and then on Thursday we work on the same letter using different methods of learning.  

For example:

For “F” they had to put their face in a plate of flour.  (After writing big F and little f in the flour with their finger.)

For “E” they had to use their elbows to crack eggs.

For “D” I brought donuts and plastic dinosaurs.  The ‘dinosaurs’ had to try to make Ds out of the donuts.

 

The list goes on…

 

The most recent letter I taught was V.

What in the world can we do with V?

 

As it is the holiday season and our home had recently hosted a Staff Christmas Party…one of Tracy’s party games came to mind. 

Vaseline Santa Beards.

Yes.

So on Thursday after a brief review of what the letter “V” says, I put the kids into teams of three, whipped out the cotton balls and vaseline…and the children got to work.

 

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Base, First and Aaw. (Base’s team was given the title of winning team.)

 

The game was a hit.  The laughter was uncontrollable.  

Unfortunately, there were some unforeseen hiccups with playing this game.  

Namely the task of de-vaseline-ing my students.  

Their hands and faces were covered with the sticky gel and the ice cold water was not doing the removing trick.  The majority of my students ended up soaking wet in the 40 degree Thailand weather, and I had to help them take off their uniforms and lay them in the sun to dry–which, in turn, left me with a classroom of first graders shivering in their undershirts.

 

V is for Vaseline. 

and Victory.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

 

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ภาษาหมา (The Language of Dogs)

I’m not exactly a huge fan of classroom observations.  Maybe this is because it’s my first year of teaching and I’m insecure in my ability to do a good job.  Perhaps I suffer from an intense desire not to disappoint; or maybe I am a little worried that the ‘controlled chaos’ of my class will not translate well to the observer.  

It doesn’t matter why, the point is–I don’t enjoy having other people in my classroom.

Regardless of my dislike of said observations I seem to have some random person in my classroom just about every other week.  Sometimes these observers come disguised as close friends, sometimes as foreign missionaries and sometimes as principles–but I see through their disguises and am usually internally dying from performance anxiety that I hide behind a big smile and bright colored clothing.

***

Meet Natalie.

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Natalie is 7 and has one big sister.  She is half Thai/half German.  Her favorite color is green, favorite animals are cats, she likes eating carrots and making art. 

When I interviewed her for this post and asked her how she is, her response was “scared.”

She is also a fan of sarcasm and hugs.

***

The Story:

Every morning at the beginning of class I teach a bit about the character of God and then lead my kids into prayer time. 

This particular morning I had a guest ‘helper’ [observer] who has been part of IHOP, has lived in Thailand for some time now, speaks Thai more fluently than I and is hoping to open up a School of Promise somewhere in the South.  I hadn’t ever met this woman before aside from friendly hello’s here and there, but welcomed her into my classroom and tried to pretend that I wasn’t nervous as all get up.

I taught whatever Bible lesson it was that day and then transitioned into prayer time. I always ask the students what they want to pray for and get a variety of answers ranging from:

God

Jesus

Miss Samara

kitties

trees

apples

and octopi.

 Ok, yep.  Yes, I will pray for all those things.

 And then, every morning I explain that Miss Samara is going to pray out loud in English, but that my students can pray in their heart, in their heads or with their words and that they can pray in English or Thai or a tribal language if they are more comfortable with that. 

Same routine, everyday.

This day, sweet Base (pictured below) asked if he could pray in Chinese.  Everyone had a good laugh about that and I told him, yes, of course.  If you speak Chinese, please pray in Chinese because God understands Chinese.

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Base. The cutest thing in the entire world. Seriously.

We all giggled together about Base being able to pray in Chinese and I began to start praying when Natalie raised her hand.  

 

Miss Samara: “Yes, Natalie?”

Natalie [in thai]: “Can we pray in the language of dogs?”

Miss Samara: pause. look at observer. pause. “If you understand the language of dogs, I’m sure God will understand it as well.”

 

And then I start praying.

Holy Spirit, I welcome Your presence into my classroom… random barking… pause. more barking… open my eyes. 

Natalie is sitting in her seat barking. Loudly.

I think, ok.  Play it cool.  No big deal.  Keep praying.

God, I thank you for this day, I thank you for this opportunity to… louder barking. open my eyes…  look at person observing my class… more students barking. pretend this isn’t happening… keep praying…

Um, You’re so good God… still more barking.  high pitched barking.  all the students are laughing.  Miss Samara starts laughing.  pull it together…

Well God, I’m pretty sure you understand Dog Language, so well…uh… ha… Amen.

 

I was pretty much at a loss as to how to move on from there, or how to explain to this lady that normally my students pray quietly and in human languages–so, I just pretended it didn’t happen at all.  

Prayer time was toootally normal.

High pitched barking? What?

Lets learn the alphabet. Big Smile.

***

Until the end of the first term dog language was brought up every class as a possibility when talking to God and for at least a good month Natalie barked the entire time I prayed.  Honestly, I don’t know why she stopped as I never squelched her freedom of expression.

But there you have it. 

Just another day in Miss Samara’s English class. With an observer.

 

 

 

 

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my little monsters

It’s probably about time I write about my class.

I feel like a few things need to be known before reading on…

1.  In high school I considered perhaps being a teacher… teaching either English (not ESL) or Chemistry or Algebra.  After my first year of college working for the Chemistry Professor and going to classroom observations, I decided that teaching could never be a profession of mine.

2.  When Jesus and I began our journey together He sparked my love of the Arts.  I then decided to completely disregard any idea of teaching and pursue the attractive life of a starving artist.  I loved Art School and still miss the days of ‘free’ studio space.

3.  Many [let me stress, many] people encouraged me to get my Teaching Certificate along side my Art Degree.  I scoffed at that idea and swore, saying, “I am not a teacher, nor will I ever teach art.”

I graduated May of 2009.

Since then my life has been full of random activities.  Working at Crane Coffee where I was able to display and sell my paintings seemed to be profession enough for me.  I enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of my life; let the wind take me away.

Commitments to most anything (including but not limited to: cell phone plans, car payments and insurance plans…) scared the bejeezus out of me.  And then I moved to Thailand.

Most everything in my life has changed.  And sometimes I laugh at how well I think I know myself.

My days spent teaching first grade ESL at the School of Promise are some of my happiest days.  I love being a teacher.

So here they are, finally–my little monsters, showing off the monsters they made in the art class that I teach.

(We had a vote for ‘scariest’, ‘ugliest’, ‘cutest’ and ‘funniest’–I will make note of the winners.)

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This is First. First made a monster named ‘Jenny’ and the other monster has yet to be named. (I’m unsure which one is Jenny.)

Natalie made "Banana".  Banana was definitely one of my favorites from the day and was voted "Cutest" Monster.  (Though...I was thinking more along the lines of Scariest myself.)

Natalie made “Banana”. Banana was definitely one of my favorites from the day and was voted “Cutest” Monster. (Though…I was thinking more along the lines of Scariest myself.)

Folk made the masked monster named, "Buun".  Buun is legitimately wearing a mask and has a sweet little blue heart next to his head.  Folk was in tears for not being rewarded anything.

Folk made the masked monster named, “Buun”. Buun is legitimately wearing a mask and has a sweet little blue heart next to his head. Folk was in tears for not being rewarded anything.

 

This is Garfield with "Banana", Banana and his six arms won the "Scariest" Monster.

This is Garfield with “Banana”, Banana and his six arms won the “Scariest” Monster.

This is Bootay with "Goldfish".

This is Bootay with “Goldfish”.

 

Boon, one of my [I'm not supposed to have] favorite students made, "Bu".

Boon, one of my [I’m not supposed to have] favorite students made, “Bu”.

Ananda, another one of those [I don't have] favorite students made "Green", who was my vote for the "Cutest" Monster.

Ananda, another one of those [I don’t have] favorite students made “Green”, who was my vote for the “Cutest” Monster..but did not actually win a thing.

Pear made three monsters, "Skull Bite", "Jack" and "Cat". Again, to my surprise, Skull Bite was not awarded any titles.

Pear made three monsters, “Skull Bite”, “Jack” and “Cat”. Again, to my surprise, Skull Bite was not awarded any titles.

This is Base with his monster "Apple".  Apple was voted 'Funniest' Monster.

This is Base with his monster “Apple”. Apple was voted ‘Funniest’ Monster.

Sansern made "Orange" and Orange (who does in fact have arms) won the title of "Ugliest" Monster--though of course, Sansern was disappointed with this as ugly wasn't what he was going for at all.  :)

Sansern made “Orange” and Orange (who does in fact have arms) won the title of “Ugliest” Monster–though of course, Sansern was disappointed with this as ugly wasn’t what he was going for at all..

So there they are.

The darling faces that have given me no choice but to fall in love with them and to want to commit to teaching at the School of Promise until all of them are done with elementary school…

And now,

More pictures.

Just for fun.

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You better believe that I do the project right along with the kids. Here’s my monster. (Compare him to Ananda’s “Green”…I had a good laugh.)

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Art class mostly happens on the floor. I don’t make it a requirement, but it just seems to happen each class.

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So there you have it.

I have a classroom…and teach students; and we do art.

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