Dear Students

Will You Remember Me?

Eh, chances are you won’t.

I’m talking to you, my dear students. I’m talking to those of you who come in so excited for art to start every week. I’m talking to those of you who dread art day every week. I’m talking to those of you who quietly work away on your tasks. I’m talking to those of you who loudly ask for help, noisily ask questions and disruptively talk to your neighbors. I’m talking to those of you who never leave your seats. I’m talking to those of you who can’t seem to stay seated. I’m talking to those of you who have natural talent. I’m talking to those of you who have worked hard for the talent you have. I’m talking to those of you who will never have a lick of artistic talent. I’m talking to all of you, my dear students.

Will you remember me?

I don’t remember my elementary art teachers. Not really. I remember their names, and I remember what some of them looked like. I don’t think I remember all of them. I remember my first art teacher who, according to a classmate, had a witch’s nose. That’s all I remember about her. I vaguely recall the art room, and what was hanging on the wall. I don’t remember what we made, and I don’t remember if I liked her or not.  I think I liked her. I can’t be sure though, because of the witch’s nose. I sort of remember my second (I think) art teacher, but only because something about her appearance also stood out to me. She was the largest woman I had ever seen. I’m not proud of that. I remember not liking her. I don’t know why. I think she was loud. I don’t know. I don’t remember what we made, and I don’t remember what her art room looked like. I don’t recall my other elementary art teacher(s?). I remember the time my friend sat in paint and had to change her pants. I remember the first time I drew a portrait, coincidentally it was a portrait of the paint pants friend. Maybe she sat in the paint during the portrait drawing art class. I don’t know. Sadly, I have more memories of my elementary music teacher and my elementary PE teacher. I don’t know why.

So I ask you again, students, will you remember me? Will you remember the projects that we made together? Will you remember that I taught you how to draw noses? Will you remember that painting trick I showed you? Maybe you’ll remember what I look like, or maybe you’ll remember what I wore. Maybe you’ll remember all those times I had to raise my voice, or all those times I had to ring my bell. Maybe you won’t remember me at all.

My dear students, it is possible, years from now, you’ll be looking back through your sixth grade yearbook and wonder, who was that? Why did she sign my yearbook? Did I even like that teacher?

My dear students, even if you don’t remember, I will remember. I’ll remember that time you made me a yarn bracelet. I’ll remember that time you brought in work you did outside of class just to show me. I’ll remember that time you thanked me for being your teacher. I’ll remember that once upon a time, for a brief moment in your life, I was your favorite something. Or maybe I wasn’t, but it doesn’t matter, because I’ll remember you at a time in your life of which you will have so few memories. I will remember you at your best, your sweetest, your most innocent. I will remember you at your most curious, your most artistic and your most adventurous.

So you go on and forget. That’s fine, because I won’t. I will always remember you as the outgoing fourth grader, the naturally talented sixth grader or the excitable first grader. I will remember a version of you that you will soon forget.

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4 thoughts on “Will You Remember Me?

  1. Jesse says:

    You get this a lot, but you are right. I feel the same way and I agree with all your posts I’ve read. I’m an art teacher also. Keep up the good work. It’s nice to know others feel the same way.

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  2. Claire says:

    Great read! I didn’t have art teachers in elementary school but I can remember which grade level teachers appreciated my art and which held up my santa who’s arms and legs were held on by brass fasteners and said I had colored it completely wrong and should have pressed so hard the crayons were breaking instead of coloring lightly and outlining the edges. However, my middle and high school art teachers are now my coworkers. I was even honored to hang my professional work besides theirs at our annual Art Educator Exhibit this summer.

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  3. I remember my 5th grade art teacher. Up until then, I was the “Artiste”. Everyone knew I had talent and could draw. I worked on a drawing of a baby tiger, and she made me erase so many times it tore the paper in the middle of the face. And she gave me a C. I had never had a C in my life, in any subject! She made me realize I really had to work at being an artist, even tho I hated her at the time.

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  4. J says:

    I was fortunate to have art all through my education. I remember my first art teacher. Not her name, but how she looks. I remember the room and some of the projects we did. I was happy there.

    I remember my second art teacher. I don’t remember her name anymore. I remember what she looked like. I thought I liked her, but when she took my art work to show to other students at other schools, something that was such an honor, it meant you did good and it came back to me changed. My unique mallard duck, the reason why I thought she picked mine, was changed into a peasant like her example and everyone else’s in the class. I didn’t like her anymore. That one moment had probably the biggest impact on me in my entire artistic career in what not to be.

    I remember my Junior High and High School teachers. I remember their names and the projects. They were/are great teachers.

    I always wondered if they remembered me? The quiet, shy girl who liked to draw.

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