Dear diary,

Over the weekend, I viewed a post on one of the FB Art Teachers’ groups that shared a picture of the entire art teacher Barbies for sale on the local Walmart shelf. The box was crushed…for every single one of them. Every. Single. One. It’s reality in a box for us, folks, reality.

Time to be honest. I requested information for an academic sabbatical for the spring. In August, I was totally freaking out about returning to school during the pandemic and afraid of all of the uncertainty. (I have a dominant A1 personality, so the unknown is awful. I am a planner) I didn’t know how I could possibly balance the rest of my degree, working full time, and my home life all at once. Once I stepped foot in school and felt some sort of normalcy, I felt at peace, like I didn’t need to take a sabbatical to manage my time. October 1st is the deadline. I haven’t filled out any of the application.

I am a TAB teacher. I understand that TAB is flexible, and ultimately aligns with the 3-sentence curriculum: The child is the artist. The classroom is the studio. What do artists do? Because I am on a cart, because I have to limit supplies and sharing, because, because, because… anyway I am struggling with sticking to my values as an art educator. I have set up a drawing center for my middle school artists, and am working on the collage center, but this is only 3 of my 30 classes. I need more flexibility.

With the weather today, recess was inside and noisy, causing me trouble to hold my concentration.

I am toting around pet dishes and sponges from school to school to school, in order for my artists to be able to paint with individualized supplies. The pet dishes can easily be wiped with sanitizing wipes, as well as brushes, and the sponges are cleaned with piping hot water. The extra steps for cleaning and toting around are on my wish list of things I’m excited to wish were gone. I can’t wait to have my studio classroom back. I can’t wait to run media centers like I had originally planned. I can’t wait to fully TAB again.

Disappointment isn’t strong enough to describe the feeling that comes over me when I observe colleagues – adults – who wear their masks below their noses, hanging at their chins, or rip them off in common spaces if a supervisor isn’t present. Come on, you are professionals. You could be asymptomatic.

Our arrival home gave us the presentation of Estella’s school pictures. On that day, Estella adamantly made the decision about her hairstyle: half of it braided, the other half down. I tried to deter her this 8-year-old creation of a style, but I lost the battle. Doug discovered Estella’s choice of school picture

Day hair style today, and to say he wasn’t happy would be an understatement.

I really do love my new position. Stepping in front of younger artists, being goofy, bringing the lesson to life, or utterly crashing on the lesson, still gives me delight, even though there are other struggles this year.