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  • Writer's pictureTeri Evans-Palmer

When You Don't Feel Funny!




This year (2024), I completed a "part time" secondary art teaching assignment in a private school. I wish I could say that I blossomed there, but the truth is that most days, I felt like a tiny rosebud on a thorny bush of prickly stickers. I did not feel funny. Instead, I felt overwhelmed and stressed.


The lesser factors fueling my frustration were attributed to a ridiculously small art budget, a classroom the size of a bowling lane, and classroom prep time that occupied most of my day. There is no such thing as a "part time" teaching position in art!


I mitigated these factors by bringing materials from my own studio for kids to use, painting the back wall of the classroom to make it appear larger, and yes, I relied on Pinterest to adopt the tried-and-true art lessons from other art teachers. These helped me gain a feeling of satisfaction that I held some control over my situation.


However, the greater factors, the human factors that led to my most helpless disillusionment, did not allow me to blossom where I was planted. These humans were NOT the kids, but the adults in the equation. An adversarial colleague, a demanding fine arts director, and a manipulative school leader really tested my sense of humor.


You may ask, "Teri, how did you bounce back to your happy, chortling self for which you are known? Sadly, I didn't. When a teacher's resilience is undermined to the point of defeat, it is best to count your losses and leave. Life is too short to continue in a job that is not sustainable.


Looking back, I must tell you that if I had paid more attention to the "red flags" I intuively sensed during the initial interviews, I could have avoided taking a job filled with tragic drama. The strained looks, the absence of joy, and too many resources not available at the time I signed my contract should have been a clue. I am now the wiser. And I am laughing again!



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