“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited.” ~ Plutarch
I've mentioned before that I am an educator. I adore my career as an art historian. It is precisely what I was meant to do. I am always challenged, constantly learning, and immersed in a field that never ceases to delight me.
Even though I teach adults and not kindergarteners (though some of my students do conduct themselves as the latter and not the former), I find myself getting especially excited for the "first day of school." My "first days" happen every new semester, but there is an extra special energy in the air come August.
|I fancy myself a Katharine Watson (Julia Roberts) in Mona Lisa Smile kind of art history teacher.|
Students seem a bit more committed to their academic paths. The smell of new notebooks and freshly sharpened pencils (well, actually iPads and laptops these days) fill the classroom. Everyone tries (at least the first day) to look polished and be on their best behavior.
Even though their parents don't snap pictures of them in the front yard in their "first day of school" outfit, backpack weighing them down, brown-bag in hand, I try to envision my students in this way. Ultimately, they're all children at heart with anxiousness and frailties and ambitions.
Hopefully, if I do my job well, they'll someday look back on this experience fondly and remember what they learned. In the meantime, I'll do the best I can to open their minds and ignite their curiosity.